Find out where our electricity and communications cables are. Even if there are overhead lines in the area there could also be underground cables.
Check before you dig - follow these steps
We are members of beforeUdig, a service mapping underground cables and pipes from a variety of utilities providers.
This means you can lodge your proposed works with beforeUdig, and they'll provide you with free reference maps showing underground cable locations within a few hours.
Register on their website to request plans. To submit your request, you need to:
- Provide details of your planned work including date, location and activity type
- Draw the work on a map - you can use their mapping tool
Once your plans are lodged with beforeUdig you will then receive one of three emails:
- There are no cable/lines in your proposed works area; you can go ahead with your works
- There are cables/lines in your proposed works area - here are the maps for the utilities
- The scope of your request is too large/complex and has been passed on to the utility's provider, who will be in contact with you
Reference maps are valid for 28 days from date of issue. After 28 days you must request new maps.
The accuracy of the maps provided cannot always be guaranteed. Road realignment, reconstruction, alterations to ground cover and property boundaries can all affect accuracy. You must hand dig to confirm the location of our cables within your worksite before you start.
Please make sure you have allowed enough time to receive this information before the planned start date.
On-site cable location
If you require an on-site cable location, please contact a cable location service for an on-site cable check.
- Delta Utility Services Ltd - 0800 433 582
- Connetics - 03 353 7200
It’s important to note that there is an increasing number of independent asset location companies now in operation throughout New Zealand. Aurora Energy cannot endorse the quality or accuracy of the cable location work done by these firms and assumes no liability for any damages that arise as a result.
Use the reference maps to mark out the location of all cables on your worksite before you start. Remember, these maps are a guide only. Use appropriate location technology.
We provide free electricity and communications cable mark outs for strategic assets only (66kV, 33kV and fibre-optic cables). A cost may apply for other cables.
Someone from our team or one of our contractors will indicate the location of cables by marking the ground to provide a digging guide. They may also be able to provide advice if you have any questions.
- Mark out guides are a guide only
- It is your responsibility to identify hazards within your worksite
- You must hand dig to confirm the location of all cables before you start work
- Please allow up to four working days for contractors to arrange mark outs of strategic assets
- All other mark outs are your responsibility
Electricity cable mark outs will have a letter beside them and look like this:
-HV----- High voltage
-LV----- Low voltage
A single orange line shows a single cable, and you need to hand dig to locate it (along with all other service cables) before using mechanical excavators.
A double orange line (corridor marking) shows more than one cable between the lines. You must hand dig between the two lines.
A single purple line shows that there is an Aurora Energy communications cable.
Communications cable mark outs will have the letter "F" beside them.
Note: the same precautions may be required for other work, like driving metal stakes or posts into the ground, particularly on grass verges. A metal post or stake that contacts a live cable is likely to electrocute anyone who touches it.
Hand digging is less likely to cause severe damage to cables. You must dig with caution for your own safety. Any damage to cables must be reported to us immediately on 0800 22 00 05.
Remember: watch out for other service cables coming off the main distribution line.
Our cables are laid at different depths, varying from 400mm to over 1200mm. Changes to ground cover may reduce or increase the depths. Expect a cable to be at any depth.
We cannot guarantee the depth of any cable.
Don't rely on finding buried marker tape when you dig as this may have shifted over time and depending on the age of the asset, tape may not have been a legal requirement at the time of construction.
If you expose a cable during excavation, you must ensure that the cable is supported and protected. Exposed cable must not be moved under any circumstances. If the surrounding material is removed, the cable must be supported at intervals of not more than one metre to prevent any movement.
When reinstating excavations, cables must be backfilled with at least 200mm of sand that has been compacted by hand.
Excavating near power poles
- Do not dig within five metres of one of our power poles without a close approach approval
- Digging is anything that disturbs or penetrates the ground including shovels, excavators, hammer drills, directional drillers and hydro excavators
- Excavations within five metres could cause the pole to collapse. We will provide guidance and, in some instances, on-site advice
Follow WorkSafe's Guidelines
Follow WorkSafe's Guide for Safety with Underground Services.
Close approach approval
We will advise you if you need a close approach approval, mark-out or on-site advice. You must obtain a close approach approval for all excavations within five metres of a power pole