Working near or on our network

The following information has been designed to keep those working near or on the Counties Energy network, and those around them, safe.

Before working, transporting, or building near network electrical assets like substations, transformers, and power lines, please familiarise yourself with the information below.

Illustration of working close to electrical assets.
Safe electrical distance requirements

To prioritise the safety of yourself, your family, employees, and contractors, all activities near electrical assets must comply with New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (NZECP 34:2001).

Understanding your responsibilities and obtaining the appropriate permit for working near electrical sources is crucial, as electricity can “arc” or jump over gaps, making it hazardous to get too close.

WorkSafe's Electrical Code of Practice

Building near overhead lines

Safety should be your number one priority when planning construction activities near our power lines. Temporary and permanent structures, including garages and house extensions, must legally comply with the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (NZECP 34:2001) to maintain a safe distance from overhead lines at all times.

The safe distance required between new buildings and overhead lines varies depending on the voltage of the power lines nearby. Find out more about the Code and your responsibilities here.

If you are working within 4 metres of overhead lines, or digging within 5 metres of electrical or gas equipment, you’ll also need to complete a Close Approach Consent application. This is a legal requirement set out by the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances to ensure all work is completed safely.

Free temporary disconnection service

Need to carry out repairs to roofing, spouting, paint, water blast, or trim trees near power lines?

Stay safe by applying for our free temporary disconnection and reconnection service – available 8am-4pm weekdays (excluding public holidays) to private properties on our network.

Apply for a temporary disconnection

Safety around underground cables

Before commencing any type of earthworks, make sure you locate any underground cables, pipes, and other utility assets in and around your proposed dig site – protecting yourself, those around you, and your equipment.

You can obtain this information efficiently and free of charge via the online service beforeUdig.

Digging safety

Before you start digging, here are some essential factors to consider:


To check for the approximate location of underground cables in your backyard before you dig, request plans at least 2 days before starting work from


Review the plan and mark out all services as show on the plan


If you are planning to dig within 10 metres of our underground cables, you must use an underground locator where possible to track and mark out any cables in the area


There are multiple suppliers of underground locators, with rentals available also


All work with 2 metres of subtrans electrical cables requires a Counties Energy stand over

Transporting boats, houses, or other tall structures

Transportation of a high load over 5 metres under overhead power lines requires a high load authorisation is required. This authorisation is to ensure safe passage, network protection, and, most importantly, keeps you and those around you safe in transit.

The Counties Energy team provides high load authorisation following the successful completion and submission of our online Over Dimension Load application form below. We aim to assess each online application within five business days. Once approved, your authorisation number will be emailed to the address provided in your submitted application.

You can avoid this process if your transportation is confirmed for a designated high loads route as outlined below.

Route 1: From Papakura to Mercer using the Great South Road

  • Firth Street
  • Bremner Road
  • Victoria Street
  • State Highway 22
  • Motorway through to Mercer heading either north or south.

Route 2: From Papakura to Maramarua using Great South Road

  • Firth Street
  • Bremner Road
  • Victoria Street
  • State Highway 22, onto
  • State Highway 2 through to Maramarua either north or south.

Route 3: From Papakura to BHP Glenbrook (NZ Steel) using Great South Road 

  • Firth Street
  • Bremner Road
  • Victoria Street
  • State Highway 22
  • Glenbrook Road
  • Brookside Road onto
  • Mission Bush Road
  • Glenbrook either north or south

Please note that the main routes have a clearance of 5.5 metres.

Over dimension load

To move an over dimension load through the network, please refer to the designated high load routes, or complete the form.