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Being safe near underground power cables

Buried power cables can be deadly. It’s important you check for buried cables before you dig.

Many underground cables look a lot like water pipes. Assume that these are all live cables until it is proven otherwise - a mistake can be fatal!

If you’re planning on doing any digging on your property including building a fence, landscaping or major gardening, concreting, excavation, putting in a pool, and construction, you should check the location of any underground cables before you start.

The OSH publication Guide for Safety with Underground Services outlines the methods we recommend you follow if you're digging.

Before U Dig

The Before U Dig service is the first point of call for any individual or contractor needing information on underground pipes and cables in New Zealand.

Call Before U Dig on 0800 24 83 44 or visit to have your property assessed for underground cabling. It will take at least 2-5 working days to process your request, so plan ahead to avoid the risk.

You need to get all available maps of the area from all utility providers, including Alpine, and you should use a cable locator, before digging.

Apply for a cable locate service  (BeforeUDig)