Powerlines go underground in Waikōwhai

18 Jul 2022
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Upgrades and undergrounding of powerlines in Waikōwhai helps to create a safer growing community.

Kāinga Ora isn’t just about building more houses - it’s also about making our large-scale projects and neighbourhoods like Waikōwhai an even better place to live. One of the ways we do this is by upgrading existing infrastructure. Our civil works partner Piritahi helps us with this. Like a lot of areas around Auckland, much of Waikōwhai’s existing infrastructure is out of date and needs to be replaced or upgraded. It’s a big job. 

Nash Road, McGregor Street, Revel Avenue and Morrie Laing Avenue are the first streets in Waikōwhai to benefit from having powerlines shifted underground, as part of the infrastructure work in the area. More Waikōwhai streets will follow as work progresses to future-proof the neighbourhood for current and future residents. 

Shifting power services underground makes them safer and less susceptible to damage or interruption caused by extreme weather or accidental contact from people or wildlife. It also makes streets more attractive and user-friendly, with more space for pedestrians and planting.

Piritahi and their electrical contractor, BM Electrical, kickstarted the project by meeting face-to-face with all residents whose homes were connected to overhead powerlines. They carefully explained the process, answered questions, and got written approval to undertake reconnection work. 

Work began in February, beginning with drilling new underground power and fibre connections from the berm to the existing houses. Any outdated electrical wiring was upgraded ready for the switchover. After several weeks of  preparing residents, the overhead power was shutdown on 16th March and the new underground system was ‘livened’. The final step was to remove the old power and Chorus poles.

With the exception of a bad storm pushing out the original ‘livening’ date, the whole process went very smoothly. A big thanks to local residents, Piritahi, Vector and BM Electrical for making it such a success. 

To see more about what’s happening in Waikōwhai, visit