The distance trees need to be from electrical conductors is regulated to ensure public safety. If there is disagreement about the safety or the liability, this can be taken to arbitration.

The purpose of these regulations is to protect the security of the supply of electricity, and the safety of the public, by:

  • Prescribing distances from electrical conductors within which trees must not encroach, and
  • setting rules about who has responsibility for cutting or trimming trees that encroach on electrical conductors, and
  • assigning liability if those rules are breached

You can view the regulations on the NZ Legislation website(external link).

Tree arbitrators

Every effort should be made to resolve disputes that don't qualify for tree arbitration that arise between the tree owner and the works owner around the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003.

Disputes which are unable to be resolved can be referred by the owner to Utilities Disputes(external link).

Under Regulation 22(external link) of the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003, a tree owner can apply to an arbitrator to determine a dispute between the tree owner and a networks owner for the terms of dispensation.

Function, duties and powers of arbitrators

Regulation 30(external link) of the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 describes the functions, duties and powers of an arbitrator.

Appointment of tree arbitrator

The appointed tree arbitrator is: 

Brad Cadwallader
33 Cropp Place
Nelson 7020

Email: brad.cadwallader@cropp-place.nz