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Pylon collapse that left 100,000 New Zealand homes without power was caused by diversity hire maintenance crew removing too many bolts

A pylon collapse that left 100,000 New Zealand homes and businesses without power was caused by too many bolts being removed by a maintenance crew working for a contractor which boasts about its diversity, equity and inclusion-focused hiring policies.

The CEO of national electricity provider Transpower, Alison Andrew, confirmed on Monday that the fall of the pylon in Glorit on Thursday was “unprecedented and inconceivable” errors made by workers from Omexom.

The maintenance crew were conducting routine work on the tower when they removed too many of the nuts securing the pylon to the ground, causing it to collapse, Omexcom NZ boss Mornez Green said on Monday, adding it was lucky that nobody was killed.

Standard procedure was to remove the nuts on one pylon leg at a time, but on Thursday three legs had them taken off at the same time, Mr Green said.

Omexom declares on its website that it wants to be an “inclusive employer, and environment where everyone feels good, where everyone gets equal opportunities, regardless of their gender, sex or culture”.

“Everyone (shes/them/hes) has the right to be who they are and must be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. We see diversity as a strength and it is our base for sustainable business. That is why our vacancies are open to anyone who meets the competences described in the job description,” Omexom states.

Transpower erected a temporary tower on Sunday, but some Northland businesses were left with low or no power throughout the weekend so homes could be prioritised.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said: “Failures like this need to see some heads roll, or the consequences – which are felt by many – will not be fully understood, nor will the lessons be learned.”

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