An independent review of New Zealand’s standard for telecommunications facilities is urgently required said the Green Party, in light of a new select committee report.
Parliament’s Local Government and Environment committee today released a report that only recommends the Government review the New Zealand standard for radiofrequency fields to ensure it is in line with the world’s best practice.
"This is a first step but it does not go nearly far enough," said Green MP Sue Kedgley. "There needs to be an independent review of the standard that covers the risks associated with low-level exposure to electromagnetic radiation which are not taken into account at present.
"The second step is a review of the separate National Environmental Standard for telecommunications facilities. This standard has allowed the proliferation of celltowers without community consultation and has increased the risk that the public will be exposed to potentially dangerous electromagnetic radiation."
Recent international research shows electromagnetic radiation can affect people’s health and increase the risk of brain tumours. It also shows that adverse health effects can happen at levels of exposure that are thousands of times below the current safety limit.
The Green Party submitted a minority report that calls for a precautionary approach, and for further investigation into the health effects of long term exposure to electromagnetic radiation, as part of a review of the overall standard.
"The Government should play it safe and stop allowing celltowers, antennas and masts to go up next to homes, schools and playcentres – people’s health should come first.
"Telecommunications companies must also be required to consult with the people affected before they put up towers or transmitters in their communities," said Ms Kedgley.