Digging for contractors

Damaging our network can have serious consequences:

  • 111 calls can't get through to emergency services
  • Cellphone towers may be cut off from the network
  • Businesses lose telephone, internet, email and EFTPOS services
  • Residential customers are similarly impacted but may also lose access to medical and security alarms

Damage to our network is easily avoidable. We can provide information on our network at a specific location through beforeUdig.co.nz.

We can also physically locate the cable for you and remain on site while you're excavating near high capacity cables. There's a minimum charge for this service ($99.00 + GST for the first hour) unless the cables are on private property and are found to be Chorus core network distribution cables.

If the cables are a high capacity route, we’ll provide a stand-over service to guide your digging at no additional charge as the cost is covered by the initial cable location fees.

Always physically locate the cable by careful potholing, hand digging or hydro excavation. And be sure to confirm there are no other utilities under our network too.

Contact us in advance 

A bit of planning can make a big difference - we only need two working days' notice to get our network plans to you.

A normal plan request sent to beforeUdig.co.nz takes us less than two working days to action and send back to you.

If you need information at shorter notice, please ring 0800 822 003 to contact our Network Protection Group

If you need urgent after-hours assistance, call 0800 111 124 and we'll send a service company cable locator instead of the plans. In this case, you'll be charged a callout fee as well as the standard location fee.

Marking cables 

We use purple paint or chalk to mark the following:

  • Dots show approximate cable location
  • Dashed lines show the cable corridor (variable width according to plant)
  • Count/type of assets are marked and where there's a change: two ducts become one duct
  • Plant ownership is marked at regular intervals
Our basic mark out standards


Potholing should be carried out on the dotted purple line at ten metre intervals (or less if you have concerns) to confirm the presence of our network.

However, when you're working near a high capacity route, you need to take extra care:

  • Potholing every five metres or less
  • Our network must be exposed by hand digging first, then you can use machinery
  • A stand-over agent needs to be on site during the digging
  • Open cut trenching or hydro excavation has to be used

Cable joints 

You need to take extreme care when you're working around our cable joints. They need to be supported, particularly the older pressurised lead sheath cable closures that often become brittle over time. If water seeps into the joints our services are likely to be affected.


Take extreme care around cable joints

Damaging our network 

Don't try fixing damage yourself. Call us on 0800 463 896 option 2 to report it.

If you do damage our network, please leave the excavation open and call us immediately so we can send our service technicians to repair.

If you accidentally damage the cable sheath while potholing and there's no service loss, we'll repair the sheath with no cost to you.