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Unison lights up Havelock North Village Green

Check it out: Baxter (5) and Evie Craner (3) test out the new lights in the Havelock North Village Green. Photo: Simon Cartwright Photography

‘Intelligent’ is not the first adjective that springs to mind when talking about lighting systems in public parks – but it should be when those parks are in Hastings.

Hawke’s Bay’s community-owned electricity lines company Unison has partnered with Hastings District Council on the major redevelopment of the Havelock North Village Green.

That has seen Unison donate and install an “intelligent” LED lighting system that will deliver energy savings of at least 50 per cent due to the benefits LED lighting offers.

The company will also install a central management system (CMS) when it rolls out the second phase of the project, planned for later this year. Unison chief executive Ken Sutherland said the CMS will allow Unison to control the lights remotely using the same ‘mesh radio network’ it already uses to operate its smart electricity network.

“The technology will allow us to monitor and control the lighting from Unison’s Network Operations Centre which is manned 24 hours a day. We can identify outages more quickly, improving reliability and the quality of lighting.

“We can also set varying lighting levels depending on the time of night or specific events, allowing for further energy efficiency.  For example, we can dim lights and reduce electricity use when use of the park is low, and increase brightness during periods of heavier use, in early evening, or in poor weather,” said Mr Sutherland.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said Unison’s support had provided “brilliant state-of-the-art technologies across a range of projects that provide real and ongoing benefits to the district”.

“Unison continues to be a great partner to Council and our residents. This park lighting is the most recent in a long line of public projects the lines company has been involved with us on. They include the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park, William Nelson Park and providing a public electric car charging station.”

Putting the system in was no small job. It included 21 light poles, 27 lamps, and 650 metres of cabling.

“Lighting is a very important part of our public spaces. It’s predominantly about safety and allowing residents to be active in different conditions, however, it’s also important to make our towns and cities attractive places to live and work,” Mr Sutherland said.

“Parks like the Village Green are a crucial part of any vibrant community, supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors, creating social connections and building community spirit. We are a proud member of the communities in which we operate and we are pleased to help make the park a better, safer place for the community.”

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