Before you dig

If you are planning to excavate, the last thing you want to do is hit a cable. Please play it safe by using our cable location services to check what is in the ground before you dig.

It is FREE to submit a BeforeUdig enquiry.

Whether you are a homeowner wanting to replace a fence, or a contractor that needs to excavate or  thrust a new duct, is the best place to start your project. Not only will you help to ensure the safety of the people working on your project, BeforeUdig will also assist in preventing damage to underground utilities; power, telecommunications, water and gas services.

Please use if you are digging a hole, or operating machinery near overhead power lines. The most common BeforeUdig inquiries are for the following activities:

  • Designing or building new underground assets
  • Road or footpath restoration works
  • Planning maintenance or emergency works on existing underground assets
  • Building a new fence
  • Laying a new driveway
  • Planning a new subdivision or development
  • Undertaking cultivation on a paddock that you may not have done before - underground assets can often be found under rural land, particularly those close to roads.


BeforeUDig Services

The service aims to:

  • Simplify the process of requesting plans from multiple asset owners
  • Provide a single point of request for information on where underground assets are located
  • Reduce the number of personal injuries
  • Protect underground assets from interruption and preventable damage
  • Coordinate with contractors, asset owners and government to set standards for essential infrastructure protection


To use the free BeforeUdig enquiry service just follow these simple steps:

  • Submit an Enquiry - provide details of your planned works including date, location and activity type
  • Draw the work site on a map - using their online mapping tool.


We will confirm that your request has been received and you will be emailed information about the underground and overhead services in the location. Horizon aim to respond with details about our Network distribution electricity assets (<50kV) within 2 working days. Please allow enough lead time to receive this information and to schedule an onsite locate before your planned start date.

On-site cable location service

It is mandatory for all underground Horizon Network cables to be located and marked onsite by a Horizon Networks Asset Inspector prior to the commencement of works. If there are Horizon owned Network cables present on site, then we offer this location and mark up service FREE of charge.

Once the cable is located, its position is marked with orange paint as a digging guide. Begin work carefully to find the cable's exact location, hand dig to pot-hole the cable depth.

If there are no Horizon Network cables present and the customer wishes to have the privately-owned service cables located and marked, then a minimum base fee of $160 + GST will apply.

Safety with Underground Services

We recommend that you familiarize yourself and those carrying out the work with the Work Safe guide on safety with Underground Services and the safe systems of work within it:

View Guide for Safety with Underground Services

The following link may also be useful:

View NZUAG Road Workers Booklet

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