Kiwis are known for our DIY skills, whether it's painting, clearing gutters, replacing fence posts or building a new deck. We want you to get the job done safely.

Plan ahead

When you're planning your work, it's important that you look up for overhead power lines and understand what's below you - there may be underground cables close to where you'll be working. 

If you're working within four metres of overhead power lines or poles, you'll need to apply for close approach approval, and depending on the nature of the job you may need a temporary disconnection. If the work involves digging, you must obtain refence maps to indicate the approximate location of the underground networks. Find out more below.

Photo of Queenstown looking across Lake Whakatipu at the TSS Earnslaw

Your legal obligations

WorkSafe has set down minimum safe practices for doing work near electricity and communications networks.

Worker in a cherry picker basket working on top of power line Rosebank Rd

Arrange for temporary disconnection

If you're doing any work like water blasting or repairing a roof contact one of our approved contractors to make use of our free temporary disconnection service.

Photo of a man carrying a ladder in a home garden. Work in the backyard garden. A natural scene from everyday life.

DIY near power lines

You must stay at least four metres away when operating machinery like a digger or crane. This also includes tree trimming.

Digging soil with a shovel, check before you dig.

Check before you dig

Find out where our electricity and communications cables are. Just because there are overhead lines in the area doesn't mean there won't be underground cables as well.

Photo of a worker in a cherry picker basket lifted to the top of a power pole. Power lines haave been clipped together to allow work to progress safely.

Close approach approval

For safety reasons, close approach approvals are required for all work within four metres of overhead lines or cables and excavating within five metres of a power pole

Photo of a long stretch of road halfway up the side of a hill, above a body of water. Above the road is sheer cliff face , trees and then a power line.

Travelling with high loads

If you’re travelling with a tall structure or machinery on the back of a truck or trailer, you need approval if it’s over 4.25 metres.

Photo of a close up of the top of a power pole

Moving our assets on your property

The full cost of moving the assets sits with you, including any easements that may be necessary as part of the works. But our contractors can help make it happen.

A person in a cherry picker at the top of a power pole working, with city and rural-scape behind them.

Permanent disconnection before removal or demolition

You must have the electricity services disconnected before you demolish or remove a building. Contact your electricity retailer to have all services permanently disconnected.