Transmitting/receiving station - Colonial Knob, Wellington, 1971

The picture above is not strictly relevant to the Wairoa Generation Scheme, but it does illustrate communications. I worked as a telecommunications engineer with the New Zealand Department of Civil Aviation before joining the Tauranga Electric Power Board in 1972.

Remote Control Panel for Lloyd Mandeno Power Station - 1973

The layout of the panel is expained in sections in the left hand side of this web page and below.

Lloyd Mandeno Station General Alarms

The above alarms are:
Supervisory Fail; Radio Power Abnormal; 110V Battery Low; Protection DC Fail; Air Pressure Low; Water Level Abnormal; Feeder Earth Fault; Supervisory Power Abnormal; Radio Fail; 400V Fail; Auxillary DC Fail; Sump Water Level High; Cooling Water Filter Blocked; Cooling Water Tank Level Low; Feeder Over Load.

Lake Mangaonui and Lloyd Mandeno intake canal water levels
UHF Hut - Te Puke Quarry Road
Tauranga Electric Power Board Control Room 1986

In the far corner, two people are in front of the TJGC Generation Control Panels, such as the Lloyd Mandeno Power Station pictured above. Then to the right is the Load Control Panel followed by the individual substation panels.

Tauranga Elestric Power Board Equipment Room

Each operator's desk had a "Communications Turret" designed and built by TEPB (Tauranga Electric Power Board) to Post Office approval - illustrated on the left.

It had the following features:

(i) A calculator type key pad for dialing; the input is stored and progressively, dialed out. TEPB had one 100 line PAX at its Head Office with trunk lines to other PAXs. The Board's dialing system was reverse to the Post Office's and this is automatically taken care of when a line was selected.

(ii) All phone calls were answered with one handset and both turrets were connected in parallel. When one call was answered this was indicated on the other turret by a flashing light going steady. A buzzer is sounded when an incoming call was made.

(iii) Radio telephone calls through the Post Office base station take priority over normal telephone calls by means of a pressel switch on the hand piece.

(iv) All radio telephone calls were automatically recorded and 5 seconds after the last speech was detected a "speaking chip" recorded the time on to the voice operated tape system.

(v) A standby trigger base transmitter could be selected if the Post Office LDC line was out of action. All radio telephone calls that are received were monitored through a speaker. This assisted in emergency situations when more than two people may be present in the Control Room.

(vi) There was a table set up with telephone jacks behind it, into which telephones could be plugged in. In fault conditions extra personnel could be called in to man the extensions and relieve the operators from the burden of answering every call.


Tauranga Electric Power Board - Generation Control Panels - 1982

Lloyd Mandeno, Lower Mangapapa and Ruahihi Stations were all remotely controlled from the Tauranga Electric Power Board's Control Room at its building in Spring Street over UHF radio links commissioned in June, 1981.

Machine 1 Alarms - Lloyd Mandeno


  In order - left to right - the panel reads:
Electrical Trip, Mechanical Trip, Electrical Oil Pump On, Rotor Earth Fault, Bearing Temperature, Bypass Valve Open, Generator Winding Temperature, Bearing Oil Level, Ready to Synchronise, Buchholz Gas, Seal Water Fail, Guide Vanes Shut, Electrical Oil Pump O/L, Cooling Water Flow Fail, Brakes On, Braking Abnormal, Heaters On.

Feeder and Busbar Voltage Indications
Machine 1 remote controls
Machine 1 Output Metering
Feeder 1 Indications


The UHF communications hut pictured on the right, and situated near the Otawa Trig, is similar to the installation in 1980, at the inlet of the Ruahihi Canal. A modified concrete water tank houses the equipment.

Tauranga Electric Power Board Control Room 1986


On the immediate left of the picture are the load control panels. At the bottom is paper spilling out which has half hourly printouts of the maximum demand. At the top of the panel are arrays of indicator lights showing the state of various ripple control channels at a substation zone with a particular ripple plant generator.

On the right hand side of the room is the 33kV and 11kV mimic panels used in particular for planning and directing work on transmission lines and substations.

Control Room Layout


The equipment room, pictured on the right, resembles a cabinet with the interface to the control room being a side of the box. The room was air conditioned to help prevent malfunctions through excessive temperature rise of electronic components. That was also another reason for using relatively open equipment racks. Cabling was run mainly through floor ducts.

Tauranga Electric Power Board Control Room Communications Turret