Careful of the cables!

17 Jan 2024

CPZ media release

Transpower is reminding boaties and users of Cook Strait of the undersea electricity and data cables which connect the South and North Islands.

These cables move electricity and data between the North and South Islands. “The cables are an essential piece of our national infrastructure, they keep the power flowing for New Zealanders and we need to take care of them,” Mark Ryall, Transpower’s General Manager Grid Delivery said. 

“The Cook Strait Cable Protection Zone exists to ensure our electricity supply is protected. The zone is an area of Cook Strait where no one can fish or put down an anchor – this is to ensure that the cables are not accidentally disturbed or damaged. Activities including fishing using nets, pots, lines, and diving are also prohibited. 

“If you are out on the water in the Cook Strait, please take the time to look at a map so that you know where the cables are. 

“A damaged cable could cause significant disruption to electricity and communications systems for New Zealanders as well as costing millions and taking many months to fix. We need boaties to take precautions not to damage the cables. 

“Transpower is keen to help educate those fishing or boating in the Cook Strait to ensure the cables are protected,” Mark Ryall said. 

For further information please contact Transpower’s media phone - 021 195 8613.


Editors’ notes 

  • Penalties for breaching the Submarine Cables and Pipelines Protection Act 1996 include fines of up to $250,000 and forfeiture of the vessel responsible.
  • The Cable Protection Zone is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the patrol vessel Seapatroller, as well as by on-call helicopter and protection officers, with support from Maritime Police as required.
  • Contact information, and a summary of information for mariners, fishers, divers, and the public can be found here - Cook Strait Cable Protection Zone (CPZ) | Transpower


CPZ fish