Who owns what?

WEL Networks owns the electricity distribution network throughout the Waikato. Some of this distribution network crosses private property and existing use rights or an easement agreement will apply.

Generally WEL doesn’t own the lines on private property feeding that individual property. These are known as service lines and include any poles, cross arms, underground cables and insulators.

If your service lines are shared, for example down a right of way, you will often all share in the ownership of the lines and equipment - and you have shared responsibility for maintenance.

The following are typical scenarios for low voltage (400 volts):

  • Right of Ways (ROW) are private property from the public road boundary with ownership shared by the property owners supplied by the ROW. Lines in the ROW that are fused at the road (Service Lines) are privately owned from the public road boundary. Maintenance on these lines/poles is shared between the customers that are supplied from the pole. Lines in the ROW that are hard connected (un-fused) with service fuses on the poles (or inside pillars) in the ROW are owned by WEL. The customer owned portion starts from the pole or pillar.

  • Cables or lines from the street that are fused at the building (flats, commercial premises and some houses) are owned by WEL. The isolation fuses are also WEL owned. The individual unit fuses (tenancies) are owned by the customer.

  • Unit title: in this situation the low voltage cables/lines to the pillar or the pole with the service fuses are owned by WEL. All service cables feeding each unit are customer owned from the boundary (or the pillar/pole if it is inside the boundary).

  • High Voltage (HV) Service Lines (Spurs): it is now standard practice for WEL to own all HV equipment on private property. WEL will require an easement over this equipment. There are caveats, but generally the land owner will own any LV equipment that is within their boundary, and only supplying them.