Keeping the lights on: Unison’s response during COVID-19

March 23, 2020 05:06 PM

As an essential infrastructure provider for our customers and communities, Unison is focused on ensuring the power is kept on at all times as part of its response to COVID-19.

We are closely monitoring the situation and are focused on ensuring the wellbeing of our customers, and our people who play a critical role in keeping the power on.

What we are doing

 Unison’s dedicated Pandemic Response Team is meeting daily to lead our response. They are implementing our Pandemic Epidemic Management Plan, planning for different scenarios and putting measures in place to keep our teams safe and the network secure.

Our response is closely aligned to the Government and Ministry of Health pandemic strategy and centres around our safety-first approach.

We are taking all necessary steps to ensure we continue to provide exceptional service to our customers. But some of our measures change the way we interact with our customers.

  1. If you need us, call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476). You will be asked if anyone at the location is self-isolating. Please always maintain a two-metre distance from our crews (or move to another part of your home while our crew is there), and don’t be alarmed if our people are dressed in appropriate protective clothing – which could include masks, goggles, gloves, or overalls.
  2. Visiting Unison: Visitors are no longer allowed into our offices and contracting depots in Hawke’s Bay, Taupo, Rotorua or Dunedin to limit the spread of COVID-19. Only external parties that are undertaking business critical work are on-site.
     
  3. Urgent work: We have critical work that still needs to be completed to ensure the reliability of our network and the safety of the community. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic will see most of our customers self-isolating or working from home, and we are looking at ways to minimise any impact that this work will have on you.

    If you have any questions about urgent work in your area, please call us on 0800 2 86476 and we will do what we can to support you.

Other steps we are taking:

  • Working from home. We’ve been busy putting steps in place to support our teams to work from home when self-isolation is required or if they need to care for any family members. This includes using technology for meetings and limiting face-to-face meetings only if its business-critical.
  • For our business-critical functions that can’t work from home, such as our control room and field staff we have added additional precautionary measures, including restricted access into the control, ensuring field-staff keep a two-metre distance during all site visits and additional hygiene practices are being put in place.
  • Securing our operations and supply chain requirements by working closely with our service providers and partners to understand their pandemic response and ensure they can continue to service us.
  • We’ve changed our travel policies suspending all travel internationally and domestically for business and have controls in place to limit unnecessary personal travel and ensure self-isolation where required.
  • We’ve cancelled all internal events and have stopped staff attending any public work-related events of any size. 

We’ll be watching developments closely and our Pandemic Response Team will continue to meet regularly to work through emerging scenarios.

Our approach needs to be dynamic, given the uncertainty of COVID-19, to ensure continuity of supply, to keep our people well and help prevent to the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Thank you and stay safe

We thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation during this uncertain time. Please take care of yourselves and your whānau and check in with those around you.

For the latest COVID-19 information and updates, click here.