2014 Election Questionnaire: General Discussion

The purpose of this post is to discuss some of the issues raised in the responses to the 2014 Election Questionnaire.

It is intended to give an overview of the issues with “smart meters” for readers who are new to this subject and/or this website.  (Please note that if you would like updates on the “smart meter” issue you are welcome to sign up for the free email newsletter at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)

The list of questions in the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire were designed to help educate politicians about the “smart meter” issue, including the fact that the meters produce radiofrequency radiation in the microwave range which is considered a possible carcinogen (class 2B)  to transmit information about electricity use (see: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ )   and also have adverse effects on people’s privacy, for example: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/ .

Another important issue is that electricity companies have reportedly been bullying customers to try to make people who do not want “smart meters” to accept them (see:  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-your-electricity-company-bullying-you/     .  Moreover some companies are  trying to use Terms and Conditions to try to intimidate customers into accepting “smart meters” – with the stated or implied threat that their power could be cut off if they do not agree to a “smart meter” installation. (See:www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-installed-without-permission-headaches-result-smart-meter-removed-headaches-disappear/ )

It is also of concern that it can be a very difficult and time consuming process for customers to get rid of “smart meters” once they have been installed, even if they are causing health problems. (Personal communications.) A lot of meters in NZ are on bedroom walls and this site has potential to cause substantial exposure to EMR from a “smart meter”.

There are a lot of myths being promulgated about “smart meters” by the electricity industry. These include  claims that “smart meters” help people save money. While this may be true in some cases, many people have higher bills after a “smart meter” installations (see:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/huge-bill-increase-after-smart-meter-installed/ ) and if time-of-use pricing is widely introduced higher bills are likely to become a fact of life for everyone – see: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/how-smart-meters-can-lead-to-higher-bills/ and   www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/the-advantages-of-smart-meters/ )

Another myth been pushed by the electricity industry is that “smart meters” are a safe technology even though they produce  non-ionising radiation which has been classed as a possible carcinogen.  The electricity industry frequently refers customers who express concern about the safety of “smart meters” to a document produced by the Electrical Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) at the University of Canterbury.  You can read a critique of this document at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/report-on-health-and-safety-aspects-of-electricity-smart-meters-debunked/

Some political parties also support the introduction of “smart” water meters which i a concern given that the “smart” water meters which are being trialled in NZ produce a radiofrequency radiation pulse every eight seconds.  See http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/

The answers (or public statements) made by the representatives of some political parties suggest that some politicians have bought the corporate line that “smart meters” will help people save money and are somehow a safe technology – even though they produce possibly carcinogenic radiation, and all over the world where wireless “smart meters” have been installed, people have been reporting a variety of adverse health effects. (For some examples of common “smart meter”-associated symptoms please see: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/survey-of-people-adversely-affected-by-smart-meters/ )


Please bear these thoughts in mind when you read the responses from the different political parties to the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire. Thank you.

The text of the 2014 Election Questionnaire and links to all political parties’ replies may be found at this link: