Trees too close to power lines are a hazard and a major cause of power failures during bad weather. They can break power lines and network equipment, resulting in risk of serious injury or death as well as causing widespread power outages.
The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations (2003) sets out the responsibilities of electricity lines companies and tree owners. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the safety of the community, while ensuring a secure supply of electricity.
The regulations place responsibilities on tree owners (you) and the electricity network operator (MainPower).
Tree Owners’ Responsibilities
Tree owners are responsible for their trees; the results of tree damage to power lines can be a significant cost to a tree owner. Please check your trees, hedges or shelter belts regularly. If you are not sure what to look for, please call MainPower so we can help. For more information about tree owners' specific liabilities, please refer to regulation 26(1) of the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations document.
For more information on trees and power lines, including information about the notice zone and growth limit zone, download our Your Power Supply and Trees brochure or call 03 311 8300 to request a hard copy.
Never trim trees that are too close or overhang power lines. It could prove dangerous and expensive. MainPower can provide a free inspection of your trees and quote for trimming work.
How to Help
If you are planning a tree planting programme there are some key things to think about. Look Up, Before You Plant includes a list of power line friendly trees.