Reefton Power Station

Reefton Power Station supplied electricity to the town of Reefton in New Zealand and was the first power station to supply municipal electricity in the Southern Hemisphere.[1] It started operation on 4 August 1888.[2]

Reefton Power Station
Reefton Power Station turbine room.jpg
The remains of the Reefton Power Station turbine room as seen in 2008
CountryNew Zealand
Coordinates42°7.291′S 171°52.171′E / 42.121517°S 171.869517°E / -42.121517; 171.869517Coordinates: 42°7.291′S 171°52.171′E / 42.121517°S 171.869517°E / -42.121517; 171.869517
Commission date1888
Decommission date1949
Owner(s)1888 – The Reefton Electrical Transmission of Power and Lighting Company Ltd
1946 – Grey Electric Power Board
Thermal power station
Primary fuelHydroelectric and steam

The power station turbine was run by water supplied from the Inangahua River via two tunnels and a headrace flume. After the town was connected to the National Grid in 1949 the power station was decommissioned. The power house was demolished in 1961.[2]

Parts of the original structure remain and are accessible via a walking track,[3] and there are plans for restoration of the site. Stage 1 of this planned restoration was completed on April 11, 2015. This included new signage, riverbank preservation and walking track restoration.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ New Zealand Historical Atlas – McKinnon, Malcolm (Editor); David Bateman, 1997, Plate 88
  2. ^ a b "Reefton Power Station". Engineering New Zealand. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Reefton short walks" (PDF). Department of Conservation. Retrieved 16 June 2009.