Who owns what

WEL Networks owns the electricity distribution network throughout the Waikato. However, we generally don't own the lines on private property. These are known as service lines and includes any poles, cross arms, underground cables and insulators.

If your service lines are shared, for example down a right of way, then you 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 is 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):  Historically over head high voltage lines on private property have been considered to be owned by the customer that they supply.  WEL has retained ownership of the transformer sited on private property. This arrangement is now not consistent with the Point of Supply requirements under recent amendments to the Electricity Act and the ownership responsibility for high voltage lines on private property is currently under review by WEL.New connections involving high voltage lines and transformers on private property will be owned by WEL as long as easements are granted.  Customers may own high voltage lines and transformers if they wish to but they will assume all responsibility for the ongoing safe operation and condition of such assets.