Select Page
Favourite (0)

Cyclone Gabrielle – Information & Support

We know many members are dealing with the significant issues caused by the on-going severe weather events. We’ve gathered some helpful resources and facilities for members to share the load during this unsettled period.

Our thoughts are with those members impacted by these events, and we encourage all members to stay safe.

Our teams are here to help and support where we can.

Essential Service Status

Anything that remotely falls under the broad umbrella of tradespeople and products/equipment/services for critical infrastructure/essential services/public health and life safety needs should not have any issues with access to effected regions.

Technical Information

Technical information

Generator quick installation guidance.

We have put together some basic guidance covering the installation of standby generators in most domestic, and light commercial applications. Further information can be found in AS/NZS 3010. This is available for free through Standards New Zealand for all electrical contractors.

Anyone installing an engine driven generator should be following AS/NZS 3010; not just relying on the basic overview in section 7.3 of AS/NZS 3000.

The version cited by Electricity (Safety) Regulations is 3010: 2005, however this citation is mandatory only for mains-parallel (grid-connected) generating sets; and the 2017 edition provides improved guidance. When certifying PEW, be clear as to which version was complied with.

Portable, and fixed generators used for standby applications for installations connected either permanently, or by detachable lead are relatively simple to install. However, there are some critical aspects that we need to be aware of.

Generator type

  • For connection to an MEN installation; the generator must have an isolated output; ie NO connection between  the live (A & N) conductors of the source and earth / frame.
  • RCD protected, and centre tapped generating sets shall not be connected to supply an MEN installation. These (generally smaller) generating sets are only suitable for direct supply to individual appliances.


  • AS/NZS 3000 requires a MEN connection at the main switchboard of the installation. This MUST NOT be disconnected.
  • AS/NZS 3000 requires a main switch for every source supplying an installation. The generator main switch must be installed at the switchboard the generator is connected to.
  • If the installation includes an inverter, the generator must be connected (via the source selection switch)  on the load side of the inverter connection.
  • Lighting controlled by dimmers may not function correctly unless using a pure sine wave generating set.

Source selection switch

  • The source selection (changeover) switch shall be configured to interrupt all incoming active conductors
  • The source selection (changeover) switch must have mechanical interlocking so that the installation loads can only be connected to one source at a time. A standby generator set must not back feed the grid as this creates dangerous conditions for line workers.
  • The source selection (changeover) switch must have a voltage rating suitable for the maximum voltage between phases of each source (typically 460 V)
  • If the source selection (changeover) switch has an intermediate “off” position between the “normal supply ” and “alternative supply” positions; it may also serve as the “main switch: generator”. Source selection switches without intermediate “off” positions shall not be used as the “main switch: generator”.

Neutral switching

  • Generally neutrals should only be switched where there is a requirement to do so. Where a neutral is switched, the neutral pole must not open before, nor close after, the active pole(s)
  • The source selection (changeover) switch Shall not isolate the incoming mains neutral from the MEN supply . The connection of the distribution line neutral to earth, via each installation’s main earthing system, is a fundamental safety issue. Where the generator is connected at a DB, the submain neutral of the normal supply may be switched.
  • The neutral of a generator set connected by a detachable connection shall be interrupted by the source selection (changeover)  switch; because otherwise the N pin of the inlet connection would be an accessible live part (when the generator is not connected).
  • The neutral of a permanently connected generator set must have means of isolation from other sources of supply (for safety when working on the generator).  It may be isolated by any of:  the changeover switch,  the generator main switch, or the generator output isolator .
  • AS/NZS  3010: 2017 requires that the neutral of a generator set  permanently connected to a switchboard containing an MEN link shall notbe interrupted by the source selection (changeover)  switch. If connected to a switchboard without an MEN link the generator set neutral may be switched ,however special requirements for earthing also apply.


  • The Earthing system shall conform to the requirements of AS/NZS 3000. There is no need for additional earth electrodes for the generator in most situations.
  • AS/NZS  3010: 2017 requires that where a generator is connected to a switchboard without a MEN link; a separate, dedicated,  main earthing system must be set up within the DB to convert the generator’s IT supply to  TNC-S (MEN).

It is important to note that it is dangerous to connect a generator to an installation using methods not outlined in AS/NZS 3010.

There have been instances of people using what are commonly referred to as “suicide leads” where a small generator is back fed directly into a socket outlet.

This method should NEVER be used and is incredibly dangerous. Not only is there risk of contact with exposed live terminals, but this also can back feed the grid exposing line workers to danger.

Below are some typical examples of how a generator should be connected to an installation. These, and more details can be found in AS/NZS 3010

Electri Check Form

The Electri check form is a downloadable PDF form, useful for guiding you through the necessary checks for inspecting a property. Download the Electri check form here

Health & Safety and Well-being

Safety when working in disaster areas.

With thousands of homes flooded across Auckland and Waitomo, electrical contractors will be called on to carry out safety checks and re-energize properties. But working in recently flooded areas poses challenges that most businesses to not regularly encounter.

Make sure you or your workers carry out a risk assessment before any job. You are more likely to come across unusual risks than you would under normal work circumstances, including:

  • Water contamination
  • Distressed domestic animals
  • Displaced wild life
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Mould exposure
  • Biological and chemical hazards
  • Working around demolition
  • Fatigue
  • Mental Health
  • Working at heights
  • Operating machinery in flooded areas

You should be alert to wildlife that may have taken refuge in the building, structure or furniture.

As an employer, you must reduce the risk of death, injury and illness to yourself and your workers.

Flood water is not clean and can contain contaminants including sewage, fuel and oil. If an employee is planning to work or travel to work in an area that’s impacted by flooding, it’s important to assess the potential for hazardous conditions and what you can do to mitigate that risk. Natural disasters are stressful times. Make sure you consider your employees, and your own, mental health.

Master Electricians Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

It’s always important to reach out if you need someone to talk to during this unprecedented weather event. You or your staff may have been directly effected by the flooding. You might be finding the pressures of an increased workload. Members and their employees have access to free EAP services, log in to the members only section for contact details

Hazards to be aware of

As an employer, you must reduce the risk of death, injury and illness to yourself, your employees and others (including volunteers) involved in clean-up and recovery activities.

As an employee, if you are planning to work or travel to work in an area that’s impacted by flooding, assess the potential for hazardous conditions and what you can do to mitigate that risk.

These may include:


  • Turn off all switches at the main electrical switchboard, including the Main Switch.
    Unplug all your appliances and if you can, lift them up so they will remain clear of any floodwater that may inundate your property.
  • Follow Lock out and tag out procedures


  • Turn your solar system off at the inverter and then turn off at the switchboard (all switches on the switchboard should be in the OFF position). The solar system will have information on shut down procedures.


  • Turn solar batteries off. Follow the shutdown procedure which will be close to battery system.
    Do not attempt to disassemble the battery or open any of the panels.

Biological hazards

Employees involved in storm and flood recovery work should maintain good personal hygiene. You should always:

  • wash your hands after contact with mud, flood water and contaminated items and equipment
  • wear enclosed footwear, protective eyewear, gloves, and suitable clothing
  • take precautions to avoid mosquito bites
  • clean and cover cuts and wounds.

Hazardous substances

Storms and floods can bury, move, or damage hazardous substance containers including paints, pesticides, cleaners, and fuels. They come in various forms – powders, solids, liquids and gases. Hazardous substances must be handled and disposed of safely by:

  • identifying substances and their hazards using labels and markings – seek expert advice if the container cannot be identified
  • avoiding contact with unknown substances or containers
  • separating hazardous substances from general waste
  • wearing personal protective equipment such as protective eyewear, chemical resistant gloves, enclosed footwear, and a suitable respirator

Other considerations

  • Be aware of contaminated water, broken glass and debris, damaged electricity supplies and asbestos
  • Employers must ensure work is properly planned and coordinated with regular communication, sufficient training and supervision for workers and volunteers, and regular rest breaks to manage fatigue.
  • Common hazards include sewage containing harmful bacteria that may have overflowed inside a building, wet, slippery and unstable surfaces, and wild animals including rodents,
  • Damaged gas and electricity appliances are another hazard. They must be avoided until declared safe.
  • Use battery-operated torches instead of candles. Open flames could be dangerous if gas has collected inside a building.

Things to consider during clean-up and recovery include:

  • Before starting any task, take time to identify potential hazards and consider how to remove or control the associated risks.
  • Ensure work is properly planned and coordinated with regular communication, sufficient supervision and regular rest breaks.
  • Only use equipment that is in good condition, fit for purpose and has appropriate guards in place.
  • Have appropriate personal protective equipment for each task (for example boots, gloves, eye and ear protection, hats, sun protective clothing and high visibility vests) and ensure it is worn correctly.
  • Ensure machinery and vehicle operators are competent and experienced in using specific equipment for the intended task.
  • Clear debris from areas where vehicles are operating, implement traffic management plans and be aware of unstable ground and potential washouts hidden by standing water.
  • Use powered machinery for lifting large or heavy items, particularly if they are waterlogged.
  • Identify any likely asbestos containing materials or dangerous chemicals.
  • Ensure children are well supervised and away from areas where work is going on.

Risk Guide to working on a flood damaged property – CHASNZ
The Accord has worked with Construction Health and Safety NZ (CHASNZ) and MATES in Construction to develop this simple high-level guide to assist construction tradespeople involved in remediating flood damaged buildings and property.

Risk Guide To Working On Flood Damaged Property

Contractual guidance due to severe weather and flooding – The Construction Sector Accord
Guidance for procurers on what to do in response to floods, and how to ensure fair and reasonable negotiations for contracts impacted by severe weather events.

Contractual guidance document and background

Other resources available

Waste disposal guidance
The Accord has also heard requests from the sector for guidance for homeowners and construction workers about how to appropriately handle and dispose of flood-affected building materials. We have connected with Auckland Council on this issue and will circulate guidance as it is developed.

General advice about dealing with flood waste can be found on the links below:

These guides may also be useful for construction businesses and those dealing with flood-affected homeowners:

BRANZ – Restoring a home after flood damage
BRANZ has prepared comprehensive guidelines to help property owners remediate after a flood. The guidelines provide advice for staying safe and cleaning up (inside and out) in the immediate aftermath of a flood.

Restoring a home after flood damage

Extreme weather: Information for businesses

The extreme weather events in parts of the North Island have affected many businesses. have put a resource together that will help with information about:

  • looking after your employees
  • operating safely
  • insurance claims
  • finance and banking
  • buildings and landlord responsibilities.

Extreme weather information for businesses

Business Advice

Undertaking work under insurance

If an electrician is contacted by a homeowner to carry out flood work from the recent weather events for emergency and make safe repairs then the financial responsibility for payment will rest with the homeowner.

If the homeowner has insurance, they should call their insurance company. The insurance company may approve the work to be completed or send one of their own supply partners.

In an event such as this where insurance companies are dealing with a large volume of claims and won’t get to everyone immediately, they are advising their customers to get their home safe and habitable and keep receipts. Insurers messages to customers at present is to do any necessary emergency or make safe repairs, keep receipts and contact your insurer if possible.

Information from Marsh

Marsh has been working with their partner NZI on a plan to assist Marsh clients in Hawkes Bay and Gisborne regions that may be feeling pressure as a result of damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

 NZI have confirmed the following:

To ease some of the pressure for your members and our mutual customers in the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne areas, effective from now, NZI will issue a hold covered on all renewals for commercial and personal lines customers for 30 days for all policies due between the 14 February 2023 to the 31st March.

 This applies to:

  • any existing hold covers that are in place
  • any new business where there is an email from NZI confirming hold covered.
  • All customers situated in the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne Region (East Coast of the North Island including the Wairoa District, Hastings District, Central Hawke’s Bay District and Napier City Councils.)

 Please note any business that has any special reinsurance implications, i.e., EPS are excluded and will need to be worked through on a case-by-case basis. Our Underwriting team will be in contact to discuss those individual examples as soon as possible.”

Please note the above only applies to members insured with NZI.

 If you need any further assistance or more information:

New Zealand Cyclone 2023: What to do if you have a claim (

Contractual guidance due to severe weather and flooding

The Construction Sector Accord
Guidance for procurers on what to do in response to floods, and how to ensure fair and reasonable negotiations for contracts impacted by severe weather events.

Contractual guidance document and background