Media Releases & News

Rapid Progress on Aurora Energy Pole Programme

19 January 2018
In the 12 months to 31 December 2017, Aurora Energy has replaced 2,800 poles across its network, and replaced, repaired or reassessed in the order of 4,500 poles.

Aurora Energy’s Fast Track Pole Programme concluded in December 2017, having achieved its primary goal of removing the risk of 2,910 priority poles and increasing the rate of pole renewals during the 2017 calendar year.

The company’s pole renewal and inspection programmes are an ongoing process and are already underway in 2018 as a priority.

The table below summarises progress on the $30 million Fast Track Pole programme across the network from its start in November 2016 to its conclusion in December 2017.

Fast Track pole programme Entire network Dunedin Central Otago Queenstown Lakes
Target 2,906* 980 1,240 686
Total poles completed 2,900 977* 1,237** 686

General Manager Operations and Risk, John Campbell, said Aurora Energy’s focus is on safety, reliability and resilience. “We are developing a detailed plan to invest more than $700 million in the networks serving Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown over the next decade to underpin future economic growth and wellbeing.

“Our pole programme is one of a number of asset investment areas we are currently focusing on to ensure the network continues to safely supply services to our customers. After achieving last year’s priority pole programme, we are continuing to devote increased resources to pole renewals and inspections this year.

“It is important to note that at the same time as replacing and reinforcing poles, we have also significantly increased the level of pole inspections – our target is that in 18 months’ time we will be inspecting every one of our 51,000 poles on a five year cycle. That will be a significant achievement.

“Aurora Energy wants ensure that our customers and other interested parties know how we are tracking. We will be producing a regular update summarising how we’re progressing with our planned work and the investment we are making into the local network including details of the pole programme. We will provide this to media and to the public via the company website starting in March,” he said.


*The Fast Track pole programme target of 2,910 was revised to 2,906 as four poles had been double counted.

**All but six poles have now been completed, the remaining three in Central Otago will be completed as soon as access is possible, the remaining three in Dunedin will be completed in early 2018 as part of an undergrounding solution.