I managed to set up a rudimentary power price monitor and alarming system:
A cron job that does a curl for this page: http://www.electricityinfo.co.nz/comitFta/ftapage.main
and greps for HAY220 (Wellington region) and does a very simple parsing.
If price is hitting certain thresholds, a webhook triggers an IFTTT recipe that changes the color on a hue light :)
As for the power spikes in the last few days, I remember seeing something from flick (either email or notification, but I can't find it any more) about some maintenance work in transpower, I think, that will affect spot prices in the next week or so ...