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Property Rights and Easements Explained

What is an electricity easement?

An easement is a property right over a specific area of land that is registered on the property title. Easements are a common property right and agreement tool in New Zealand and are often used for rights of access to land used for utilities and access.

Why are easements necessary?

Easements provide Aurora Energy with the right of access on a permanent basis to ensure network assets such as new powerlines, cables and transformers can be inspected, maintained and repaired to help Aurora Energy continue to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity. Interference with Aurora Energy’s rights and electricity equipment may comprise safety of the public and the occupiers of the property. Therefore, it is essential that Aurora Energy’s rights are understood and observed.

How does an easement affect what I can do with my property?

The easement, which is registered on the property’s title, contains a plan showing the dimensions of the easement and its location on the property together with the rights and restrictions over the easement area. The landowner will continue to own the land, but their rights over the easement area are subject to an agreement with Aurora Energy.

Standard easement obligations include:

Aurora Energy will: 

  • Give notice before accessing the property, except in emergencies.
  • Cause as little disturbance to landowner activities as possible.
  • Access the easement by agreed access routes.

The Landowner will:

  • Not alter the land contour in the easement, except for normal farming operations.
  • Not build any new structures within the easement or plant trees that would interfere with network assets.
  • Maintain minimum clearance distances (i.e. 4 metres from overhead lines when operating machinery).
  • Not knowingly flood or light fires in the easement area or do anything that may damage network assets.

Sample Easement Instrument terms

Property owners and occupiers should also be aware that Aurora Energy may have existing use rights to access land to undertake certain works. These rights are given by section 22 of the Electricity Act 1992 and apply if the network assets were constructed prior to 1 January 1993. These rights of access will not be registered on the property’s title.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of the easement area?

Maintenance of the easement area is generally the responsibility of the property owner and/or occupier, however complying with regulatory and safety requirements associated with Aurora Energy’s electrical assets within the easement area is the responsibility of Aurora Energy.

What type of maintenance work does Aurora Energy undertake on easements?

To enable Aurora Energy to construct, maintain, repair and rebuild powerlines on some properties, access roads and tracks are required on or adjacent to the easement area, an Aurora Energy lock may be required to enable continual access along the easement corridor. In addition, periodic vegetation management works are also undertaken by Aurora Energy to ensure that a specified minimum clearance between vegetation and powerlines is maintained. Property owners will be contacted prior to easement maintenance and vegetation works commencing.

When is an easement required?

Easements are required in the following instances:

  • Relocation of existing assets: Where a landowner requests that a line or other asset owned by Aurora Energy, that supplies other customers or crosses other owners property is moved, an easement, of acceptable form to and in favour of Aurora Energy is required prior to relocation of the asset.
  • New Assets where ownership is to be transferred to Aurora Energy: Where ownership of new assets is to be transferred to Aurora Energy, an easement in favour of Aurora Energy is required.

Aurora Energy Easements


 If you require any clarification on the information provided, please contact [email protected] or call us on 0800 22 00 05.