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There is a code of practice that sets out safety distances and that must be followed: New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances.

This code:

  • requires any person who carries out any work near power lines or poles to maintain safe distances
  • states a minimum safe approach distance of 4m for any mechanical plant or scaffolding. We may permit a lesser distance where we are satisfied that safety will not be compromised
  • states that where any work is to be done within 5m of a tower, pole or stay wire, we must provide consent in writing before any excavation is carried out. Temporary support of the pole may be required during excavation.