Electricity distributor Unison Networks has issued a safety warning after a series of power boxes were tampered with in Hastings.

Unison group chief executive officer Ken Sutherland said the company had discovered a number of incidents where a person had removed the screws from a power box.

"In most cases they have not managed to remove the cover but, regardless of that fact, interfering with electricity assets like power boxes poses a significant danger," Mr Sutherland said.

"There is a very real risk of serious burns, electric shock or even death.


"Public safety is extremely important to Unison. Every year we run public safety campaigns and visit schools to educate children about the dangers of playing on or around power boxes," said Mr Sutherland.

"Our message to the public is that if you see an open or damaged power box, or someone interfering with power boxes, call Unison and the police immediately. Keep away from the area, and keep others away, until someone arrives to close or repair the power box."

The company voiced concerns earlier this year about a rising trend of tampering with power boxes, following an incident outside Camberley School in April.

Vandals escaped what could have been fatal consequences when they removed bolts from the door of a power box outside the Hastings school, leaving the cabinet open with wires and fuses exposed.