Your responsibility

In some cases, property owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing electrical lines and equipment on their property.

Line and equipment ownership is a complex issue; lines can be owned by MainPower or the property owner.

Ownership isn't based on who paid for the line to be built. It depends on the agreements made and the legislation in place when the line was constructed, any legal agreements relating to the property or access, and whether the line crosses or supplies electricity to other properties.

Read below to find out more or contact our team on 0800 30 90 80 to find out what your responsibilities are.


What lines can you be responsible for?

There are three types of power lines: transmission, distribution, and service lines.

Individuals can't own or be responsible for transmission or distribution lines, even if they are on private land. Most transmission lines are owned by Transpower (a State-Owned Enterprise) and distribution lines are owned by electricity distribution businesses, like MainPower. Transformers and other heavy infrastructure are usually owned by a transmission or distribution company.

However, service lines may be your responsibility.


Service lines

Service lines carry electricity from the distribution network to a property/ies.

If you are the only consumer supplied by a service line and the line is located on your property, you likely own, and are responsible for, the maintenance and/or repair of that line.

However, if the line supplies other consumers as well, a service line or a portion of a service line is owned by the electricity distribution business (MainPower).


Why does line ownership matter?

If you own a service line, you are responsible for its maintenance. You are also likely responsible for the associated equipment and infrastructure surrounding the service line, such as poles and cables.

In most towns and cities, this is not a big responsibility. However, some rural properties have service lines that are several kilometres long. If you own a service line, you are responsible for arranging the repair and maintenance of the line and associated equipment. This also includes removing the line if it's no longer needed.


Completing a visual check of poles and equipment

Property owners should carry out periodic visual checks to ensure that their service lines, equipment, and infrastructure are in good order. These checks should include checking that power lines are not close to trees. Click here to find out more about trees and powerlines.


To ensure your safety, only MainPower approved contractors are permitted to access service boxes, link boxes, kiosks, climb poles, or access pole fuses.

If you have completed a visual check of service lines or poles on your property, or of a MainPower asset, and notice something you think is unsafe, call MainPower on 0800 30 90 80 immediately.


A printout of this information is available here.


It is not always obvious who owns service lines. We can help you find out what your responsibilities are. You can contact us by clicking here, or by calling 0800 30 90 80.