Power, Trees and Vegetation

Trees and branches falling onto lines are the major cause of power outages in the Waikato region, particularly in storms.

Overgrown trees can also prevent our crews from repairing equipment quickly and often delay the process of restoring power.

Managing vegetation within the WEL network area is a shared responsibility and by working together we can continue to deliver a safe and reliable power supply to our communities.


Maintain your Service Line

Did you know that you own and are responsible for the electrical lines and structures within the boundary of your property?

In a fault or outage situation, if the condition of your service line is poor, for safety reasons WEL Networks may be unable to restore power to your premises until you carry out maintenance.

Electrical lines or cables that leave our network at your property boundary or enter a right of way, and supply electricity to buildings or pumps, are owned by you and are commonly referred to as service lines. This is often only a few metres of line, but in rural areas this can be several hundred metres of conductor and poles. Service lines require maintenance to ensure safe and reliable power to your premises.

If your service line has leaning poles, low hanging lines, crooked cross arms or shows signs of damage, make urgent contact with an electrician to provide remedial work.


Keep trees clear

As a landowner you are responsible for ensuring vegetation and trees do not encroach on overhead or underground electrical lines.

Clearances

Under the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003, trees must be kept at a minimum distance from power lines and electrical equipment to prevent disruption to power supply.

Tree clearances are dependent on the voltage of the overhead lines. There are two zones; Growth Limit Zone (GLZ) – the space around the power line (measured in metres) where trees must not encroach, even in windy or stormy conditions, and the Notice Zone (NZ) is one metre beyond the Growth Limit Zone.

The size of the Growth Limit Zone depends on the voltage of the lines. If your trees are encroaching on the Growth Limit Zone of that line, you could be issued with a cut or trim notice. You must respond and take the action required by the cut or trim notice or face a fine of up to $10,000.

Stay safe

Only approved vegetation contractors should be used to maintain safe clearances. Attempting to cut or trim trees yourself near power lines could result in damage, severe injury or even death.

For more information about tree trimming including safety disconnections click here


What should I do if I receive a tree trimming notification?

If you receive a notification you need to complete a tree trimming consent form. This outlines the options available to you as the property owner.

A tree owner commits an offence when, if given a hazard notice to trim or fell a tree and without reasonable excuse, fails to take any action to have the hazard removed. If you ignore a notification requiring you to trim or cut a dangerous tree, or you don’t advise WEL of the time and location of the cutting or trimming of the tree, you may be fined up to $10,000.