Leap year software glitch closes fuel pumps across New Zealand

New Zealand gas stations reported nationwide outages at self-service pumps on Thursday, apparently because their software is unable to deal with the date of Feb. 29.

Fuel suppliers Z Energy, Allied Petroleum and Gull said automated pumps were down across the country, leaving only staffed stations able to process payments.

“We think it’s the inability of the payment software to cope with the leap year,” said Gull spokesman Julien Leys. “That’s our understanding but we’re waiting for confirmation from our technology provider.”

New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to greet the day and therefore experience Feb. 29, the extra day added every four years to account for the Earth taking slightly longer than 365 days to orbit the sun.   

“We are aware of an issue with our third-party payment system that is impacting companies across New Zealand today, including Z Energy,” Z said in a statement on its website. “We are working closely with our third-party payment provider to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.” –BLOOMBERG