Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

90+ years of valued contribution

It’s been over 90 years since the foresight and vision of a few enterprising Dargaville individuals led to the establishment of the North Auckland Electric Power Board in 1930.

Here are some of the key milestones and achievements over the years.


The North Auckland Electric Power Board (NAEPB) was formed in July 1930 to construct the electricity network for our region. After initially renting office space in Dargaville, a permanent building was constructed in 1938 to house administrative and engineering staff.

The first power lines were constructed from Mareretu – Paparoa to Dargaville, then further extended to Maungaturoto to power the dairy factory.

In 1937 the Kamo Town Electricity Board merged with NAEPB.


The outbreak of World War II caused material and labour shortages impacting growth. Many materials were diverted to the war effort, and the Government impounded NAEPB supplies, releasing only those essential to production.

It was difficult to find workers during this time, and the NAEPB was largely operated by a small number of skilled staff and farmers who needed the power supply. Despite these challenges, the network grew and by 1945 there were over 5,000 consumers connected for a maximum demand of 4,881kW.


The mid-1950’s saw NAEPB connect its 10,000th consumer – a milestone which was celebrated by presenting a silver tea service to the lucky Onerahi customer!

This decade also saw further expansion to the Dargaville Head Office through the construction of a new engineering division facility, a power pole manufacturing plant and an in-house boardroom.


Marsden Point was chosen as the location for Aotearoa New Zealand’s oil refinery, and NAEPB were responsible for the electricity supply, powering the plant when it opened in 1964.

The first modern computer was purchased to replace aging bookkeeping machines.


In 1974 the head office was moved from Dargaville to our current Otaika location in Whangārei.

NAEPB began administering a government loan initiative to insulate homes to conserve energy.

The first company computer system was installed.


The NAEPB celebrates 50 years, and the early eighties saw increased economic growth in the region.

A new 33kV line was constructed to supply Northland Dairy Company’s new $100m milk processing site at Kauri.

Technology advanced further and the latest appliances showcased the advantages of electricity were displayed at the new electricity centre in Whangārei.

Staff were upgraded to the latest tech when afterhours duty staff were provided with telepagers.


Northpower Limited is born after the NAEPB purchase of the Whangārei District Council Electricity Division for $13 million.

Northpower then purchased the Wairua hydro power station from Golden Bay Cement and the plant becomes fully automated.

The 1992 electricity industry reforms ends electricity retailing at Northpower in favour of network ownership.

A second Transpower owned 50kV line is built to improve security of supply to Dargaville.

1998 Northpower’s contracting business is established and the maintenance contract with Vector is secured.



Wairua hydro power station undergoes a $5.7 million refurbishment, and Northpower’s tree felling and maintenance programme is launched to keep trees clear of power lines.

Mangawhai substation is destroyed by fire – however power is restored in 80 minutes and a temporary substation commissioned in just 12 days.

Technical innovations through new thermal imaging that allows us to examine our network with helicopters, improving safety and operational efficiency.

Wairua hydro station undergoes a $5.7 million refurbishment.

Central contracting established including Hamilton, Matamata and Tauranga depots.

In 2007 construction of an aerial fibre network began.



In 2010,  Northpower Fibre is established and partners with Crown Fibre Holdings to construct the Aotearoa New Zealand’s first ultra-fast broadband fibre network.

Ongoing investment to improve the reliability of electricity supply across our network.

Southern contracting established and Wellington Electricity contract secured.

In 2012,  Transpower lines and stations maintenance contracts awarded.

Northpower installs Aotearoa New Zealand’s first electric vehicle fast charging station in 2013 at Alexander Street amid much fanfare and celebrations.

In 2014 the Whangārei UFB network is complete, delivering the country’s first fully fibre enabled city.

Transpower tower refurbishment contract is secured and our Paraparaumu depot established.

During 2015, every school in Whangārei us connected to Northpower Fibre’s network.

Along with local hapu we established an elver (baby eel) transfer programme at our Wairua Hydro Station – with over 60 million elvers transferred to date.

The 100th birthday of Wairua Power Station is celebrated in 2016.

In 2017, the UFB expansion contract is extended to bring fibre to 12 additional Northland towns.

Our 60,000th electricity customer is connected in 2018.


Today sees Northpower continuing to service the growing demand for electricity in our region.

Our investment programme is targeting the replacement of aging infrastructure, while catering for future growth and increased demand across our networks.

Construction of a new substation at Maunu is complete, providing additional capacity to support the extensive growth.

Northpower Fibre ultra-fast broadband network has been expanded to a number of townships across Kaipara and Whangārei.

Regional apprenticeship funding secured to support the trade cadetship programme

Home energy programme established to address energy hardship in Whangārei and Kaipara

Contracting services expand into New Plymouth

Investment in renewable generation locally with first solar farm in Ruawai under construction

Recent Projects

Focus on Ruawai

Northpower is bringing power home

Homegrown talent to support electricity sector growth

Northpower electricity consumers to receive $14.1 million in annual discount payment

Home Energy Education Programme helps thousands

Looking out for guy wire safety on rural properties

Central Northland Science & Technology Fair 2023

Celebrating Lloyd Richards & Andrew Watts