Trees and vegetation too close to power lines are a hazard and a major cause of power disruptions.
When trees come into contact with power lines it can pose a risk of serious injury and/or death to the public and can cause widespread damage to network equipment.
Trees need to be pruned regularly to keep branches and other vegetation from interfering with power lines and equipment. If they are not managed, it can result in a power outage or the vegetation can become electrically live causing a dangerous situation.
If you see a tree touching a power line or any other hazardous tree condition, please contact us immediately on 03 687 4300 or 0800 661177.
You can also take a photo of it and send it to us using the free app Snap Send Solve.
The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations have been in effect since July 1st 2003. The regulations set minimum distances trees must be kept away from power lines and methods of managing trees in the vicinity of power lines and electrical supply equipment. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the security of the electricity supply and the safety of the public.
Tree owner's responsibilities
Tree owners are responsible for keeping their trees clear of power lines.
Please check your trees, hedges and shelterbelts regularly. If you have concerns about trees on public land you should contact your local council or NZTA in the first instance. If you're unsure what to look for please contact us for a free assessment.
For more information about trees near power lines please consult our brochure.
There are a variety of shrubs and trees suitable for planting near power lines. Please click on the link below for a list of these trees or contact us to discuss other options.
How far to trim trees
Ultimately keeping trees at least four metres away from the path of power lines is best. Trees closer than four metres to power lines are dangerous for you to cut yourself. You will need to arrange to have your tree trimmed by a network approved contractor.
We carry out routine vegetation surveys and maintenance on the network. During these surveys any trees or vegetation identified as posing a threat to the network will be detailed. If your trees have not been subject to a cut or trim at our cost you may be eligible for a first free trim. In this instance you will be issued a first trim notice.
If our records show the trees have been subject to a first free trim previously then you will be issued a Trim Notice with a quote for the intended work. For more details around the notice systems please contact Alpine Energy’s Vegetation Department 03 687 4300.
Tree trimming near power lines/equipment
Cutting or trimming trees (including shelterbelts) which are within four metres of a power line is dangerous and must only be performed by an Alpine Energy approved arborist or contractor. For a list of network approved contractors click here
Trees outside the regulation criteria
If you have concerns about trees outside the regulation criteria (fall distance hazards) please contact us for a free assessment. We may subsidise any intended work depending on the risk posed by the tree to the network.