We offer a free service to help you to locate underground cables, pipes and ducts before you begin digging or excavating.
If power or fibre cables are struck and damaged, it can knock out important electrical or communications supplies. It could also result in an electric shock, explosion or death.
We'll provide you with free reference maps showing where underground cable and pipe locations are.
We'll contact you if any major network cables or pipes are shown on the maps you've requested.
We'll also advise whether we’ll need to provide on-site help and also arrange for a Close Approach Consent to be issued where necessary.
To get underway, please register and give us the details of your upcoming job on the BeforeUDig website, at least two days before you need to start work.
It's your legal responsibility to establish the location of cables and pipes before you dig. Repairs can be expensive and any costs incurred will be charged for.
Under Worksafe legislation, we can prevent any work continuing that is likely to cause damage to our network or serious harm to a person.
Further useful information can be found in Worksafe New Zealand’s Guide for Safety with Underground Services.
Our cables and pipes are laid at different depths in the ground, usually varying from 600mm to over 1200mm. Reference maps are a good indicator of cable and pipe locations, but because of the changing ground and marker movement, we can’t guarantee the exact depth or location of any cable.
Please refer to Worksafe New Zealand’s Guide for Safety with Underground Services for full procedure when excavating around cables. Hand excavation should always be the first step when locating underground cables.
For safety reasons, mechanical diggers can't be used within 450mm of a cable.
If you're more than 450mm from a cable, it's a requirement to hand dig first before using mechanical diggers. Hand digging is less likely to cause serious damage to cables and pipes and helps protect your safety.
Remember to also look out for services coming off a main.
While power cables are sometimes found inside ducts, they can also be buried with timber, concrete or plastic slabs above for protection.
They may also have orange plastic danger tape indicating cables below.
Cables can shift over time so may not always be visible.
It's important that electrical cables aren't moved without Northpower approval. Some cables rely on paper for insulation and any kinking can cause electrical breakdown and an explosion risk.
For safety reasons please cease work and contact us immediately. After contacting us, please make the site is safe and prevent anyone else from accessing the damaged cable.