Regulation 17 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 requires that a person who carries out any construction, building, excavation, or other work on or near an electric line must maintain safe distances in accordance with New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (NZECP 34:2001).

Minimum safe distances have been set by NZECP 34 primarily to protect persons, property, vehicles and mobile plant from harm or damage from electrical hazards.

Key requirements of NZECP 34 include:

  • The distance between any live overhead electric line and any part of any mobile plant or load carried shall be “AT LEAST 4.0 METRES”, unless the operator has received written consent from the overhead electric line owner allowing a reduced distance.
  • The distance between any exposed live parts and persons (including tools held) shall be “AT LEAST 4.0 METRES”, unless the person has received written consent from the owner of the live parts allowing a reduced distance.
  • Mobile plant or any load carried shall not operate above the conductors of any overhead electric line unless the operator has received written consent from the overhead electric line owner to work above the overhead electric line.

Close Approach Consent

Close Approach Consent is required for any of the following activities near MainPower Network assets:

  • Working within 4 metres of overhead power lines.
  • Working above overhead power lines.
  • Trimming or felling trees near overhead power lines.
  • Digging within 5 metres of any pole or stay wire supporting an overhead power line.
  • Digging within 12 metres of any tower supporting an overhead power line.
  • Digging near underground power cables or communication cables.

High Load Consent

High Load Consent is required when transporting loads with an overall height greater than 4.8 metres throughout the MainPower Network area.

Forestry Felling Approval

Forestry felling operations within two tree-lengths of MainPower's lines require prior approval by MainPower. Please be aware that a site visit may be required to agree the felling plan. To initiate the process, please complete a Close Approach Consent application form (link below).

Complete an application

Apply online for a Close Approach Consent from MainPower.

To apply for a High Load Consent, please visit This site is designed to make it easier for customers in the South Island to apply for High Load Consents, especially when travelling across several network areas.

MainPower NZ Ltd


To download the regulations around electrical safe distances, click below.

Working near the network? Click below.

Transporting a high load through the South Island? Follow the link below.