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Working near overhead power lines

Getting near or contacting power lines can be fatal or lead to serious injury.

Everyone working on building sites or anywhere near overhead lines has a legal requirement to maintain the minimum safe distance from power lines as set down by New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice – NZECP 34:2001 Electrical Safe Distances.

All structures and work activities should be kept at least four metres from power lines.

If approval for this is given, then it applies only to the lines in the street or locality specified, and only to your machine while it is operated by you.

Apply to work near overhead power lines (PDF)

Send your completed form to

Work safe near power lines

  • Treat all lines as live at all times.
  • DO NOT go near or touch a downed line.
  • DO NOT climb any power pole or pylon.
  • LOOK UP before handling long objects or using mechanical plant. High voltage electricity can jump across gaps - you don't need to touch the lines to get killed.
  • BE SAFE when trimming trees so that they don't fall into power lines.
  • DO NOT excavate around power poles without speaking to us first.

If you wish to dig near power poles please apply to ensure you are not going to come into contact with an underground cable.

Please read our safe distances for contractors information sheet or you can call us on 03 6874300 to talk to someone about safe working distances during construction.

For more information about digging near power poles please visit our before you dig page.