Underground cables

How to dig safely

The OSH publication 'guide for safety with underground services' can assist you to work safely around buried services.


  • don't take chances - buried cables can kill
  • before digging, check for buried power cables
  • there are numerous underground cables in the street and on private property - many utilities (electricity, telephone, gas, water and sewer) all share the same road space.

Cable maps

We have free maps to help you locate our underground cables.

We no longer maintain records of privately owned cables. However, our older records may assist you. If we do have old records, we cannot guarantee their accuracy.

You can obtain maps by calling our mapping centre on 0800 363 9898 on weekdays between 8.00am and 4.30pm. For further information on how to make an underground cable map request, click here.

Locating cables

We recommend that you use the methods outlined in the OSH publication 'guide for safety with underground services' to locate cables.

An electrician probably laid the cable from the street to your house. At the time he should have given you (or the then property owner) a record of the cable location. If you don't have this record, you can arrange for a contractor to plot the route with an electronic cable locator.

If new underground mains are being installed at your premises, or to an outbuilding, you should ensure you get a position record from the electrician showing where the buried cables lie.

Electronic cable locating contractors

We do not provide a service to locate cables. The following companies may be able to help you:

  • Connetics Limited - phone 03 353 7200 or email
  • Telpower (1998) Limited - phone 03 339 4150
  • Underground Service Locators - phone 027 246 5496

View more safety information.