Home Support Centre Digging How do I ensure safer digging

How do I ensure safer digging

Accidentally digging up a buried cable can be expensive and inconvenient - not just for us, but also for you too. By following a few simple rules, you can avoid cables and the hassle of damaging them.

Getting Chorus underground network plans

Before you start digging, visit beforeUdig.co.nz to request a free Chorus underground network plan for your site.

If the plan shows our cables in the area, be aware that our underground network plans are indicative only - as boundaries and levels of cover can change over time. We recommend that you play it safe and get an on-site cable location done by a qualified Chorus asset locator to more accurately see where our network is.

On-Site cable location

A minimum fee of $174 plus GST is charged for all on-site cable locations. If it takes longer than one-hour, additional time is charged at $44 plus GST for every 15 minutes thereafter. Prices effective from 1st April 2024. However, if the cables are shown to be our core distribution cables and are on private property and/or your neighbour's service lead runs through your property, we'll mark these out free of charge. 

After-hours locates

If you require a locate after our business hours please call 0800 111 124 to organise. Please note that additional locate charges apply to any locate outside of business hours and weekends.

It’s important to note that there is an increasing number of independent asset location companies now in operation throughout New Zealand. Chorus cannot endorse the quality or accuracy of the cable location work done by these firms and assumes no liability for any damages that arise as a result.

Hand dig

A corridor marked by two dashed purple lines shows approximately where our cables run. Where high-capacity cables are at risk, we offer a free ‘stand-over' service with our technician on site in an advisory role to assist your digging.

Note that we do not provide a “stand-over” service where an independent asset location company has done the locating, you will need to organise a Chorus locate prior to confirm network locations are accurate.

You must hand dig (pothole) at frequent intervals to find the exact position, depth, and direction of the cable before full excavation begins.

How to minimise the risk of damage

For all high-capacity cables (e.g., fibre cables), a line is marked 750mm (or occasionally more if required) on either side of the estimated cable route. To minimise the risk of damage, we recommend using hand tools wherever possible to dig within the two marked lines.