Rob Hutchins died from a medical event at his home in Oamaru on May 4, 2017.
Among his many other achievements, Rob Hutchins founded the Electrosensitivity NZ Trust (ESNZ Trust). He was in touch with literally hundreds of people around New Zealand who have electrosensitivity, offering support and advocacy to people affected by this debilitating condition. (Electrosensitivity is also known as ES, electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS), or electrohypersensitivity (EHS).)
Rob’s knowledge of the effects of electromagnetic radiation and health was extensive.
Rob was also a key part of the very effective community push-back against smart meters in Oamaru, where he and others helped to organise screenings of the smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power, newspaper advertisements and other local initiatives.
Rob was well-known locally – in part thanks to his having been the past chairman of the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust that looks after the town’s beautiful historic precinct. He was able to inspire many people to get informed about the smart meters and spread the word about smart meters potential negative impacts on health (including research linking smart meter emissions with the development of electrosensitivity), privacy and electricity bills. He also very effectively spread the message that smart meters are not compulsory – even though electricity company staff may claim that this is the case.
Below is an article published in the Otago Daily Times shortly after Rob’s death.