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Overhead Lines Forum

24 October 2018
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Novotel Rotorua
Tutanekai Street



This event is intended for overhead line designers from networks in the North Island (ideally 30 attendees from the Upper North Island and 30 attendees from the Lower North Island).

The forum may also be of interest to those who work in the management of overhead line assets.

Attendance: Registration will be limited to 2 - 3 attendees per organisation

Cost: No charge

Provided: Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea

Sponsor: Edison Consulting

Facilitator: Jed Coppins (

Note about the South Island Forum: There is an 'Upper' South Island 'Overhead Lines Forum' being held on Thursday 25th October. Contact if you would like to attend.


This event is a forum for local overhead line designers to meet, share knowledge, address common issues and to develop professional contacts, relationships and collaborations.

The agenda for the forum is created by attendees offering topics/presentations. The presentations do not have to be long. We would encourage people to talk about something they have been involved in, even if it is a 5-minute brief on a project or issue. Topics could include:

  • New products, techniques, experiences
  • Problems solved, learnings
  • Unresolved problems
  • Proposals for collaborative work

As this is the first forum in the North Island, we would also like to discuss with participants what they would like to get out of the forum moving forward. The forum will begin as one group in the morning and then divide in to 2 groups respective of upper and lower North Island. Typically, we aim to keep the forums relatively small (less than 30 people). In this case the forum may be larger as we are combining the upper and lower North Island, however when we split into 2 groups each group should be less than 30.


The regional forum will be held over one day, at the Novotel Rotorua.

The agenda is for the day will determined by what topics attendees offer to present on. The agenda will be curated by the facilitator and circulated to attendees ahead of the forum. Due to the smaller group, presentations can be less formal and group discussion is encouraged. The length of the presentations can be variable, depending on the amount of content that needs to be covered. In previous forums this has allowed for shorter updates and queries, as well as more in-depth presentations.

Once an attendee has registered, further information will be provided on how to submit a topic/presentation to the facilitator. The facilitator can provide feedback on the suitability of the topic, which can be helpful for new attendees. The facilitator reserves the right to select/prioritise topics and amend timings as required, but we will do our best to cover the interests of the group.


The development of greater communication and cooperation between Utilities is a potential solution to overcome the issues imposed by the fragmented nature of NZ’s electricity distribution industry. Some possible outcomes of a regular forum could include:

Professional development – Developing professional networks, exposing individuals to different ways of doing things, providing individuals with the opportunity to present to their peers.

Communication - Sharing of ideas, experience, knowledge, learnings between organisations. Forming informal communication channels between organisations. Development of a professional community. Create an efficient way for the EEA and other industry participants to engage with Network OHL Designers.

Collaboration – In various areas including; product and materials investigations, research, training, materials quality control, development of products and methods, influencing suppliers and other industry participants.

Curriculum –Development of a NZ curriculum / qualification for overhead line design.

Guides, Standards and Technical data – Developing guides and standards focused on NZ overhead distribution and transmission design.

Example Topics

Examples of topics presented at Southern Overhead Line (OHL) Designers forums include:

Eye-bolt failures

Line tension issues

Experiences with conductor corrosion

Experiences with circuit to circuit line clashing

Outcome of Plastic anchor block and stay block testing and analysis

Updates on EEA guides

Pole testing

Failure modes of insulators

UAV inspections

Lessons from reconductoring projects

Non destructive condition assessment

Pole tagging

Soil testing and soil strengths

Asset data capture

Alternative foundations

Survey techniques

Post insulator Vs suspension insulator

New hardware being trialled

Alternative pole arrangements

Concrete pole spalling


Pole failures

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