Aerial inspection of lines

Insulators are inspected on the 33kV power network to Dunedin this week. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
Insulators are inspected on the 33kV power network to Dunedin this week. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
A low-level helicopter is doing a high-level inspection of power lines around Dunedin and Central Otago.

Delta, in conjunction with Helicopters Otago, is conducting a close-quarters survey of the 33kV distribution power lines throughout coastal and Central Otago, including Berwick to Port Chalmers, and Millers Flat to Queenstown and Wanaka.

Helicopters Otago managing director Graeme Gale wanted to make people aware of the work so there were "no surprises". A mailbox drop had been done to inform owners of stock and horses.

The work began on Tuesday and it was hoped to have it completed by Christmas, although it was weather-dependent.

Brian Mathiesen (CRCT), from TransNet New Zealand, said the work was to ensure security of the three circuits, by preventing outages.

Mr Mathiesen was in the helicopter, operating a corona camera which identified any insulators that needed replacement and that information was then relayed to Delta.

Humidity had to be over 60% for the German-designed camera — which was worth "$70,000-odd" — to work, he said.

It was a slow process. There were about 600 poles on the circuit and three insulators on each pole.


All property owners have been notified!!! Thats odd, I own several properties and I have never received notification of the helicopter checking power lines at any property. Luckily my daughter was home as her horses were agitated with the helicopter.Could have been disastrous. Postal drops should have happened before the checking started not once it was in progress. Common courtesy I would think.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter