Work safely near power lines

If you are concerned about the safety of any power lines, please call us on 03 307 9800 on 0800 430 460.

Coming into contact with power lines can be fatal or lead to serious injury.  Be aware of the dangers of power lines and keep yourself safe.

If you need to work near power lines or poles, you must first apply to us for a Close Approach Consent, either by using our Online Form or by downloading our Close Approach Consent Application. The consent will set out detailed safety information.

When working near power lines:
  • Treat all lines as live at all times.
  • DO NOT go near or touch a downed line.
  • DO NOT climb any power pole or pylon.
  • LOOK UP before handling long objects or using mechanical plant. High voltage electricity can jump across gaps - you don't need to touch the lines to get killed.
  • BE SAFE when trimming trees so that they don't fall into power lines.
  • DO NOT excavate around power poles without speaking to us first.

There is a code of practice that sets out safety distances and that must be followed. NZECP:34 - the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice 34 – Safety distances. This code of practice:

  • requires any person who carries out any work near power lines or poles to maintain safe distances
  • states a minimum safe approach distance of 4m for any mechanical plant or scaffolding. We may permit a lesser distance where we are satisfied that safety will not be compromised
  • states that where any work is to be done within 5m of a tower, pole or stay wire, we must provide consent in writing before any excavation is carried out. Temporary support of the pole may be required during excavation.
High Load Consents

If you plan to move any tall structure like a house or large machinery, you must first apply in writing for a high load consent so we can check your proposed route and see if it's clear. We will then advise you accordingly.

Click here to request a High Load Consent.

Excavating near power lines

If you are excavating near a power line you must be particularly careful not to disturb the ground around the poles causing them to become unstable. Power poles have strains placed on them from the weight of the overhead conductors. Any lowering of the depth of the ground around a pole can weaken the support of the pole causing it to fall. If in doubt give us a call to discuss your plans on 03 307 9800 or 0800 430 460.