Contracting Capabilities

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

Plan ahead to keep safe

Know the rules when working around overhead and underground power

Northpower provides electricity and fibre broadband connections to businesses across Whangārei and Kaipara. Whenever you or your people are planning to work around our networks, it’s important to work with us first, so we can help keep you safe.

The main thing is it’s important to plan ahead with your project and check with us first.

Before you start

Before starting any underground work or digging you must obtain reference maps that show the approximate location of our underground electricity and communications cables. Please go to and complete the form. You will then be emailed out a map. Once you have the information from Before U Dig, you can call us or go to our online service centre to request a cable location service – you will need your Before U Dig sequence number to order your cable location service.

For work near power poles, overhead lines or fibre cables you may need a Close Approach Consent, High Load Consent or an electricity and communications service safety disconnection. Please visit our online service centre to apply or contact us for advice.

Plan ahead

It’s important to allow enough time to undertake your work safely, for yourself, your staff and any contractors you may have working for you. As a rule of thumb you should allow:

  • two working days for reference maps from beforeudig and bookings for cable location services
  • two working days for on-site advice and Close Approach Consent
  • up to five working days for High Load Permits
  • at least two and up to five working days for service disconnections

1. Plan ahead – before you start visit to get a reference map

2. If your reference map shows your worksite is within 10 metres of underground cables, you must carry out a cable/duct location

3. Order a cable location online or call us to arrange (at least two working days before you start work)

4. Northpower will come to your site and dazzle the cable route on the ground

5. Carefully expose cables or pipes as necessary to confirm the route of the cable (use the potholing by hand technique to avoid striking cables)

6. A safety observer may be required depending on the voltage of the cables – we’ll advise if this is a condition at the time of the cable location

7. You cannot dig or excavate within five metres of power poles without a Close Approach Consent – visit our online service centre to request consent

8. Remember to also check for other services, such as water, private service cables and pipes

1. Before working near overhead power lines, plan ahead and visit to ensure no underground cables are present at the site

2. When working near service lines (e.g. scaffolding on houses), check out our options for a safety disconnect

2. Check your work area is further than four metres from any power lines

3. You cannot work within four metres of power lines without a Close Approach Consent

4. You cannot dig or excavate within five metres of power poles without a Close Approach Consent

5. If you need a Close Approach Consent, apply at our online service centre or contact us

6. Northpower will come to your site and issue a permit if it is safe for you to complete the work around power lines and cables

7. If you are planning new builds, check ECP 34 to ensure the building is a safe distance from overhead lines

Got an urgent job? Call us now.

If you need to locate underground cables and pipes urgently, or on a weekend or public holiday, please call us.

We offer a free service to locate underground cables and electrical and fibre ducts before digging or excavating – we’re here to help. It is your responsibility to check for underground cables before digging.

Know your legislation

To meet your responsibilities, it is critical that you establish the location of underground services before you start excavating. A close approach consent is a legal requirement set down by New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice – NZECP 34:2001 Electrical Safe Distances.