Taupō Quay tower replacement

From November 2023 through to early 2024 Powerco will be replacing two towers that span Te Awa o Whanganui to ensure electricity supply to Whanganui City remains safe, resilient and reliable well into the future. 

The two towers carry high-voltage lines which power much of the Whanganui CBD including the hospital and council buildings. 

The towers were first installed in the 1960s and have now reached end-of-life. They are being replaced like-for-like, one on either side of the river; at Takarangi St and at Bullock's Yard on Taupō Quay. 
We’re also upgrading the lines they carry to ensure there’s electricity capacity to supply to Whanganui City well into the future. 

As part of the project we’ll also be working with the community on beautification and planting projects on the Takarangi Street-side of the river, as well as education outreach with the Putiki tamariki. 

Timeline of work 

Our contractors Omexom (previously known as Electrix) will be carrying out the work on our behalf. Here’s how the mahi will happen: 


  • Crews will be building new concrete foundations for the towers. This work is expected to take a few weeks (weather-dependent). 


  • Both towers will be assembled in Bullock's Yard. 
  • One tower will then be transported by road to Takarangi Street. 

January – February: 

  • The old towers will be demolished. 
  • The new towers will be installed on the new concrete foundations. 
  • The new lines will be installed on the towers using cranes on either side of the river. 
  • An H-shaped pole between 11 and 13 Takarangi Street will also be demolished and a new one installed. 

What this means for you 

In order to keep our customers and our crews safe, a number of safety measures will be in place.  

Thanks in advance for your patience and cooperation with our crews. Please follow their instructions if asked and treat them respectfully. 

Here’s what you’ll see: 


Taupō Quay 

On the Taupō Quay-side of works stop-go staff will be in place on the walkway when the lines are being installed to direct pedestrians and cyclists. This will ensure that walkway users are protected while the lines are installed overhead. 


Takarangi Street 

On the Takarangi Street-side of works, fencing will be installed around the tower replacement site to keep members of the public safe. 

There will be one outage in mid-December to allow our crews to work safely. If you’re affected by the outage you’ll receive advance notification from your retailer (the company you pay your power bill to). 

There will also be a temporary road closure when the H-shaped pole is replaced. Traffic management will be in place per the map below to allow vehicle and pedestrian access around the closed-off area. 

Graphic map showing road closure on Takarangi Street, Whanganui


Investigating the options

As part of the project we explored alternative options to replacing the towers to ensure we’re providing the best solution for reliability and resilience of electricity supply at the best cost for our customers.

Several options were considered; refurbishing the existing towers, replacing the towers with monopoles, installing a cable underneath the river, installing cable on a bridge and moving the towers.

None of those options were found to be feasible due to a number of factors including environmental impact (including on Te Awa o Whanganui), earthquake and flooding risk, and cost. 

As a result, it was determined that a like-for-like replacement of the towers was the best option.


Photo from ground of Powerco's Taupō Quay tower in Whanganui.

Bullock's Yard tower, Taupō Quay.


Photo from ground of Powerco's Takarangi Street tower

Takarangi Street tower.