Last updated: 02:41pm, 10th Sep 2021
As an essential service, Northpower’s priority is to keep the power flowing to our customers and ensure the ongoing reliability of the network and the safety of our staff and community during this COVID-19 response. Find out more about what to expect during this time and how to contact us.Learn more here.
It's important you're always aware of overhead lines and keep safe when working near them.
If you hit an overhead line there's a real risk of electrocution, explosion, flash over or fire.
If you're going to be working closer than four (4) metres to lines, poles or power boxes, you'll need a close approach consent. This is a legal requirement set down by New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice – NZECP 34:2001 Electrical Safe Distances.
This code of practice:
Pease note, while you're working or building near overhead lines you also need to consider what's below the ground. To avoid damage and risk of electrocution, it's important to know where power or fibre pipes and cables are before you dig. We have a step by step guide on how to safely locate unground pipes and cables before you begin digging. Find out more here.
Please ensure that structures, such as garages and extensions to houses, remain well clear of overhead lines. If a structure is too close to the lines you may need to put the power underground.
Minimum distances allowed between any new buildings and overhead lines have been set by the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice NZECP 34:2001. Please note that the minimum safe distances will differ depending on the voltage of the overhead lines.
To find out the voltage of the lines that you are planning to build near to, please call 0800 10 40 40.
Please note that any work above an overhead line requires a working near lines consent.
If your works do not comply with Table 2 of NZECP 34:2001 (see below), specialist engineering advice will be required to confirm that the works comply with Table 3 of NZECP 34:2001 (see page 11 of The New Zealand Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances).
For specialist engineering advice please call us on 0800 10 40 40.
Minimum safe distances from buildings to overhead lines
Minimum distance beneath powerlines
Minimum distance to side of powerlines
Not exceeding 1kV
Exceeding 1kV but not exceeding 11kV
Exceeding 11kV but not exceeding 33kV
Exceeding 33kV but not exceeding 110kV
Refer to Table 2 of NZECP34 (page 9)
For more information on working safety around our network, please download our safety booklet.Download