Reports from New Zealand : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

No reports of Y2K-related incidents, says the New Zealand Y2K Readiness Commission.

Twelve out of 12 sectors monitored in New Zealand report no Y2K-related interruptions, says Basil Logan chairman of the New Zealand Y2K Readiness Commission in the Commissions 1am report.

So far the detailed planning which has taken place across New Zealand is bearing fruit, Mr Logan says. There have been no confirmed reports so far from any of the key utilities or essential services of any Y2K-related problem, however issues could take some time to show up.

The Y2K Readiness Commission will continue to monitor the situation and will be giving a further report at 2.00am. All information and updates will be available on the Commissions website at


-- Steve Davis (Columbia, MD) (, December 31, 1999


Response to No reports of Y2K incidents in New Zealand

CNN now reports cell phone network congestion

-- Steve Davis (Columbia, MD) (, December 31, 1999.

Response to No reports of Y2K incidents in New Zealand

Thanks Steve,

I'm watching your reports while watching TV, keep them coming please?


-- (, December 31, 1999.

Response to No reports of Y2K incidents in New Zealand

if you listen to the mainstream news--all is fine and dandy!!! sounds like its already over. i almost caught myself breathing a sigh of relief.

-- tt (, December 31, 1999.

Response to No reports of Y2K incidents in New Zealand

This from CIVICPREP list member Nick Laird

Earlier (12:15 NZ time) when I logged onto that site there were reports on the telephones having trouble. Here's some of their comments "Complete loss of service for Hamilton.

Clear Communications - Customers are experiencing problems with international communication due to a satellite fault. Customers may not be able to send emails via Clear. The nature of this incident is unknown. The National service is working without problems.

CLEAR's Auckland Network switch for local and national has stopped processing. This affects customers trying to make calls to other customers, north of Taupo.

CLEAR's Auckland Network switch for local and national has stopped processing , affecting all Clear customers north of Taupo. Clear report that the situation is improving. " And "Virtual total loss of all telephones includes "111"

Telecom reports overloading of mobile telephone network in Riverton Emergency system in the Marlborough district.

Telecom reports Grampian cellular site knocked over by rioting party- goers.

Telecom NZ - Mt. Maunganui exchange badly damaged by New Year riots. Customers in number range commencing with 07572, 07574, 07575 will be unable to make or receive calls. Restoration time unknown."

These comments were removed within about twenty minutes of them being displayed. Systems overload? Whilst clicking on the "incident by region" link approx 30 odd failures had been reported. These too were edited till now there's only a couple of minor faults. All problems appear to now be sanitised. Regards Nick

-- Steve Davis (Columbia, MD) (, December 31, 1999.

Response to No reports of Y2K incidents in New Zealand

From: All services are functioning

-- Steve Davis (Columbia, MD) (, December 31, 1999.

1 January 2000; 5:00am NZ time

No reports of Y2K-related incidents, says the New Zealand Y2K Readiness Commission

Twelve out of 12 sectors monitored in New Zealand continue to show no Y2K-related problems, says David Henry deputy chairman of the New Zealand Y2K Readiness Commission in the Commissions 5am report.

"So far so good. The preparations put in place by key utilities and essential services have paid off," Mr Henry, says. "We congratulate people in the key sectors who have helped make New Zealand so well prepared.

"However we still advise that issues could take some time to show up. The Y2K Readiness Commission will continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand. All information and updates will be available on the Commissions website at The Commission will update this report at 8.00am.

-- Steve Davis (Columbia, MD) (, December 31, 1999.

It appears that New Zealand's Y2k watchgroup would not have reported a rollover power outage until asked. (Why didn't you tell me? Answer: Because you didn't ask")

Also, no police department would plan a 15 minute computer outage on New Year's Eve, the busiest night of the year! ....

Systems hold up despite Y2K bug worries

01.01.2000 - By STAFF REPORTERS

Thousands of Central Otago farmers were plunged into darkness early today, but crisis managers reported a trouble-free transition to the new millennium elsewhere.

In most of 21st century New Zealand, the lights stayed on after midnight, revellers were able to draw money out of ATM machines to keep on partying, and it seemed likely they would get hot showers this morning to ease hangovers.

The Y2K Readiness Commission declared at 2 am that none of its 12 monitored sectors, including power and water supply, had reported falling prey to any failures by computers to switch over to the new century date.

Russia reported about the same time that its first nuclear power reactor, in its eastern territory of Kamchatka, had survived the millennium changeover.

But the readiness commission did not mention until asked about an hour-long power failure which had thousands of people in Alexandra, Roxburgh and surrounding districts breaking into their Y2K Readiness packs.

Transpower said the cause was a suspected "line problem," although it was still investigating.

Police officers patrolling boisterous millennium celebrations had a brief scare when their central computer was taken down for 15 minutes after midnight, not having been forewarned of a "planned outage."

In Auckland, regional council critical services director Dr Ewen Hutchinson said: "Nothing has happened - sorry, the world has not ended."

Auckland city spokeswoman Helen Cook said: "We have no apparent Y2K bugs in the city."

Watercare communications manager Owen Cook said everything went smoothly in Auckland's bulk water and wastewater systems.

"It clicked over like any other night."

Mr Cook, whose utility supplies a million Aucklanders with water, said there was a certain amount of apprehension as the changeover approached but he was not surprised that everything held together after two years of testing. There was heavy overloading on mobile phone network, although Vodafone spokesman Mark Champion said it was no heavier than on a normal New Year's Eve.

Fears of computer viruses and hackers attacking Websites did not eventuate, but Auckland University expert John Holley warned that the all-clear could not be given until businesses began opening e-mail from Monday. Aviation operators, the main ports, the Marsden Pt refinery, the Comalco aluminium smelter, New Zealand Steel and Lion Breweries also reported no difficulties.

With a twitchy globe watching to see how New Zealand coped as the first industrialised country to meet the millennium and possible computer failures, crisis management centres around the country were preparing for the worst. Expecting massive international traffic on its Website, the readiness commission had extra security measures in places for its site, mirroring it in Washington to cope up to 700,000 "hits" at once.

The commission was confident most essential services would hold together, after the country spent up to $1 billion future-proofing its computer systems against any failure to recognise the century date change.

Australia also appeared to tick past the millennium hour without major trauma, having taken heart from New Zealand's almost seamless transition.

Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=107623

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

See Martin's post in the Education/Kids section: "NZ glitch causes 22,000 incorrect student contracts"

One interesting tidbit.... On January 3, 2000, it was reported that all was well, but "80 per cent of householders had prepared Y2K kits."

Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=107692

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

Town guaranteed bug-proof power

31.12.1999 - By SCOTT MACLEOD

TAUPO - Taupo is plugging itself as one of the few places in New Zealand where the electricity supply is guaranteed to survive the Y2K bug. They said yesterday that the town was a self-sufficient island in a sea of Y2K chaos because of a deal between its electricity supplier, TrustPower, and the station's owner, Power New Zealand. Power would be pumped directly into Taupo should the national grid collapse.


Industry experts believe the national grid will survive the Y2K bug, but expect blackouts of up to two days in some areas.

Source: New Zealand Herald storyID=107058

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

January 3, 2000

Power cut kills revelry in Clyde

By Regan Horrell

Early evening drizzle and a power cut less than an hour after midnight threatened to ruin the party for New Year's Eve revellers in Central Otago on Saturday.

Power was cut to Alexandra for 15 minutes, Roxburgh 45 minutes, Clyde 60 minutes and Omakau 90 minutes at 12.45am.

Senior Constable Brian Lemm, of Alexandra, said the power failure emptied out many pubs and "killed" Clyde's main street celebrations. Before the outage, hundreds of people were enjoying outdoor celebrations with haybales used as seats outside the main restaurants and pubs.

Residents and revellers in Alexandra were stunned and bemused but not fazed when the town was plunged into darkness.

Some feared the Y2K computer bug had struck while others thought the power cut was a practical joke.

Police used patrol car lights to keep an eye on the revellers but reported no problems as most people stayed drinking in the pubs confident power would be quickly restored.

"Bugger" was the initial reaction from Alexandra pie cart proprietor Lynne Giles.

"We thought if it doesn't come on we'll bring out a bottle and join everybody else."

Mark Brownsword was talking with a friend at an Alexandra home. "The clock (on the hill) went out, you could hear lots of people but you couldn't see Alexandra, but it didn't worry me because we had candles and cards."

Power failure was the topic of conversation for Flora Krsinic when the lights went out.

"I was saying 'Look, everything is okay, the phone's going, the telly's going and the next thing it's pitch black'."


Source: The Southland Times, New Zealand

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

January 4, 2000

Power outage answer sought

By Ryan Keen

A CLYDE cafe owner wants answers from electricity company Delta Utility Services about the one-hour power cut the town suffered at a crucial time, killing its New Year's Eve celebrations.

Blues Bank Cafe and Bar owner Steve Toyer said yesterday it was unacceptable that Alexandra got power back on within 20 minutes but Clyde was left in the dark for an hour which effectively killed celebrations.

~snip~ Delta Utility Services chief executive John Walsh said on Saturday equipment failure was the cause.

An 11,000 volt circuit breaker failed to close.

He was unavailable for further comment yesterday.


Source: The Press, New Zealand

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

(Various glitches, most of them not Y2k-related? Unbelievable.)

Glitches on cards after Y2K rollover

03.01.2000 - By MICHAEL FOREMAN

While New Zealand's major computer systems and essential services have rolled over to 2000 unscathed, businesses could still experience a flurry of minor problems as they switch their computers back on this week.

Some will be genuine Y2K errors. A likely source of trouble is older standalone PCs which may show the wrong date when they are restarted. But not all the problems will be directly the result of Y2K. Ordinary machine failures and operator mistakes might be blamed on Y2K in the coming weeks while the spotlight is still on the millennium rollover. Several thousand customers of Farmers Trading, for example, were surprised just before New Year when they received statements urging them to make payments by a date in 1920.

"It was not a systems issue. All Farmers systems have been Y2K tested," said Wayne Walden, Farmers group managing director. He blamed the problem on "incorrect inputs at the time of printing" at Mount Wellington-based Datamail, which produces the company's statements under contract.

Mr Walden said the problem had been spotted after two print runs and had affected only a small fraction of the 500,000 people in the database.

Andrew Corbett, delivery services general manager at Datamail, said the problem had been caused by a programmer entering "incorrect dates" but said it was not Y2K related. He said the problem was fixed very soon after it was noticed and no other Datamail customers had been affected.

Similarly, a day before New Year's Eve, Mobil service stations in Northland suffered a programming glitch causing some customers to be overcharged for petrol, but it had nothing to do with the millennium bug.

Mobil spokeswoman Rowan Macrae said the problem stemmed from incorrect programming of about half a dozen petrol stations in the Northland area. The pumps had been programmed for a marketing promotion. When it ended, the pumps had reverted to too high a price. Ms Macrae said the glitch had been fixed. Customers who had been overcharged could get a refund by presenting a receipt at the station where they bought the petrol.

A genuine Y2K glitch has hit The Listener. It was unable to publish in its current edition video recorder G-codes in its TV listings because of a tailor- made extension to its Quark Xpress layout program. Editor Finlay Macdonald said the program refused to read G codes beginning with 00.

"It was a foreseeable problem, but one that was so deeply buried that it was overlooked. We think we've fixed it, but we had to go back to manual labour - typing the codes in by hand."

A billing problem hit some New Zealand Herald subscribers before Christmas. Their invoices had a payment due date of 19 January 1900. A letter apologising for an early appearance of the Y2K problem was swiftly sent out to the readers concerned.

However, Gary McKenzie, chief information officer of Wilson & Horton, publisher of the Herald, said "the letter was wrong." He said the 1900 date had been incorrectly typed into a text field by a clerk. "It's not a Y2K problem at all," Mr McKenzie said.

At the height of the celebrations, a 15-minute shutdown of the aging NZ Police central computer, planned weeks ago, led some officers on duty to believe it had crashed.

"We had a planned outage of LES (the Law Enforcement System) across the whole justice sector from 11.55 pm to 12.10 am," said Police spokesman Michael Player.

"Some officers were unaware of that decision", Mr Player added, so they may have been surprised when it wasn't responding at midnight."

Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=107679

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

Hush-hush on defects

06.01.2000 - By MICHAEL FOREMAN

While few Y2K incidents were reported yesterday as PCs were switched on for the first time since the holiday break, there were indications that where issues do occur they will not be disclosed.

John Holley, Y2K programme coordinator at Auckland University, said he knew of several companies that had Y2K problems but "aren't saying".

"Whether that's because of commercial sensitivity or they are frightened of litigation I don't know. I suspect every large organisation in New Zealand has had problems of some sort."

Mr Holley said that so far only one genuine Y2K problem had surfaced at the university yesterday - a CD-Rom database could not be reset to 1999.

He said that without "a significant effort to get things fixed" over the past 18 months his organisation would face many more problems. "The student enrolment and admissions system wouldn't be working now if we hadn't fixed it."

Tony Trewinnard, general manager of Year 2000, a company specialising in Y2K fixes, said there had been no "back to work" rush for Y2K fixes.

"I think a lot of problems may still surface at the end of the month. That's when a lot of people will actually start using things like spreadsheets and do period dependent processing which are the things that are liable to go wrong."

Mr Trewinnard said forklift truck drivers and warehouse staff would be more likely to discover Y2K problems than information technology specialists.

"You might have a system that says you've got X rolls of carpet in a warehouse for example. It's only when you get a call from the warehouse saying they've run out of carpet that you realise it was wrong and you trace it back to a date problem."

In a "first take" report on Y2K, industry analyst GartnerGroup predicted only 10 per cent of Y2K problems would be discovered in the first two weeks of 2000, and only 55 per cent in the rest of the year.

It said defect "spikes" would be noted and software would fail when date-related transactions were run.

Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=108154

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

(Another area has a power outage, cause unknown)

No problems reported



Reports straight after midnight confirmed essential services were not disrupted by the turnover, apart from a pre-midnight power failure to some Morrinsville residents.

The problem was a power failure at the town's water supply plant and affected residents of Morrinsville's Waterworks Road, Matamata and Piako District Council general manager Dick Rankin told the Herald. The cause of the failure was not available to Mr Rankin, although weather was thought to have played a part. Power was restored at the plant at two minutes to 12 am, "like Bond, just in time" according to Waikato region's civil defence controller Bob Priest.


Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=107605

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

(One small bug for man, one giant cockroach for mankind)

Bug-watchers predict quiet time at work

05.01.2000 - By EUGENE BINGHAM

Glitches, rather than large-scale meltdowns, are expected when thousands of businesses begin their first working day of the new millennium today.

New Zealand's Y2K watchdogs will crank up their monitoring operation at the Beehive, in Wellington, but are "cautiously optimistic" the day will pass without much fuss.


Some minor problems, such as systems not recording the date correctly, are expected to appear today.

Auckland lawyer Zahir Mohamed said his fax machine was showing the year as "0" rather than "00" on its printouts.

"It appears that on January 1, I lost zero," he said. "Who cares? Zero means nothing. I don't mind losing nothing."

He thought the machine was about 15 years old and doubted it would be around in 2010, so he was not worried.


Source: The New Zealand Herald storyID=108076

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

(Y2k glitches in a diabetes reader, fax machines, elevators)

Back to work gremlin-free

06.01.2000 (January 6, 2000) - By STAFF REPORTERS

Some faxes got confused about the date and a few lifts would not operate but otherwise it was a Y2K-free day for businesses returning to work yesterday.


But, as with the changeover at midnight on January 1, nothing significant eventuated.


At the peak, more than 100 businesses had switched their equipment off; yesterday, 30 remained off.

One of the few problems to surface affected a Tauranga woman who found that the clock on her blood-sugar reader had not worked since midnight on December 31.

Jean Collins said the device, bought three years ago by mail order from Diabetes New Zealand, still took a reading but could not store information with a date attached, as it used to. "When the diabetes nurse came I could go through and show her what the readings were. Now I'll have to go back to keeping a record on paper," Mrs Collins said.

A spokeswoman for Diabetes New Zealand in Oamaru said there had been no other complaints about any devices. Distributor Roche Diagnostics said the complaint was its first and the company was keen to hear from Mrs Collins.

The State Services Commission Y2K project director, John Belgrave, said all Government agencies had so far escaped unscathed. The only glitches were several fax machines and elevators malfunctioning briefly, he said.

"But it was nothing that could not be fixed quickly..."


"Back in February, when the group was set up, quite a number of agencies were behind the benchmark but, to be fair, once they realised the Government was serious they got on with it.

"Some of the complex agencies like police and Winz had a lot of work to do. The effort was well worth it."

Source: New Zealand Herald storyID=108162

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

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