Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003

The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 cover the trimming of trees near power lines. They help promote safety and maintain electricity supply in New Zealand.

In late 2018, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) investigated the effectiveness of the Regulations (an action for MBIE in the Treasury’s Thirty Year NZ Infrastructure Plan 2015). MBIE spoke to a range of stakeholders in the 2 main affected groups: tree owners and works owners. In general, the tree owners felt that the Regulations were generally working well, and the works owners felt strongly that they were not working well, for a number of reasons. After considering these issues, our advice to the Minister of Energy and Resources Dr Megan Woods was that there is a need for a full review of the Regulations, which she agreed to.

The Review has since started and a stakeholder workshop was held in December 2019.

While the government remains committed to the Review, it is currently reviewing its work programme for the electricity sector in light of COVID-19.

A number of electricity industry stakeholders are interested in developing the idea of a “risk-based” approach to managing the interaction of powerlines and trees (and other vegetation).

MBIE intends to work with industry and other stakeholders on this approach, as part of preparing a number of possible options for its proposed Discussion Document.

We will provide further updates on the Review as the year progresses.

For any questions please contact treesregulations@mbie.govt.nz.

Last updated: 26 May 2020