Ministers Introduce Guidelines on Radiofrequency Transmitters

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Health

The Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tuariki Delamere, and the Minister for the Environment, Hon Simon Upton, today released a draft guideline for managing the effects of radiofrequency transmitters.

"We are aiming to resolve the debate over where radiofrequency transmitters should be sited and what the health effects of these are," the Ministers said.

"These guidelines should help territorial authorities establish a consistent approach to radiofrequency transmitters and manage the effects of these on their communities.

"Members of the community with concerns about the effects of this technology will also find some interesting and helpful information about the current state of the scientific knowledge in this area. And the industry will find some helpful ideas about how to address concerns which have been expressed and avoid costly court action," Mr Upton and Mr Delamere said.

The draft guidelines also include a discussion of the key issues concerning the industry, the community and the territorial authorities, advice on the health effects and exposure limits which have been set internationally and adopted under the New Zealand Standard, and a summary of the main Environment Court ruling.

The Ministers said current research indicated there were no established health effects from exposures to radiofrequency fields at levels below the international guidelines or the New Zealand Standard.

"However, we are advising that since adverse health effects cannot be totally ruled out yet, the industry should make whatever low or no cost efforts it can to reduce the level of exposure. We are not recommending exposure limits be set any lower than the current voluntary New Zealand standard or international guidelines."

Copies of the draft guidelines are available from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for the Environment, or by visiting the Ministries' web sites: www.moh.govt.nz or www.mfe.govt.nz

Submissions on the draft are due by September 30 and the final guidelines are expected to be published before the end of the year.