Update on smart meter fires in NZ October 2018

Website editor’s note: A supporter of Stop Smart Meters NZ recently contacted the Fire and Emergency NZ (previously the NZ Fire Service)  to find out the latest data about smart meter related fires in NZ.

She received the following information, together with a covering letter that stated that fires reported as being associated with smart meters could in some cases be due to a combination of factors not just the smart meter (such as water entering a meter box).

You may see the data released under the Official Information Act by clicking on the document below:

OIA 2018-6557 Stats related to smart meters and fires in NZ from Fire and Emergency NZ

Please note that the information may released under the Official Information Act may NOT include all smart meter related fires that have occurred in NZ in this time frame. The reason for this was elicited in further correspondence between the supporter of Stop Smart Meters NZ and a representative of Fire and Emergency NZ who wrote:

“I am advised that the field on our incident reporting for noting whether there was equipment involved in the ignition of the fire is not mandatory, as not all fires are ignited by a piece of equipment. Coding it as a ‘smart meter’ fire also relies on the incident reporter being aware that the meter was a smart meter.” [Emphasis added]

So while the official statistics on smart meter related fires in NZ list only a relatively small number of fires, the official figures could be somewhat or even much lower than the actual number of smart meter-related fires.

The potential fire risk from a smart meter is a good reason (among any others) to refuse to have a smart meter installed. Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ so you can refuse a smart meter if you don’t want one.

Previous stories on smart meter fires in NZ on this website are below:

Smart meter fire at NZ school

Are smart meters causing fires in New Zealand?

Website editor’s note

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company etc. etc,) you may do this through the contact form at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

Warning: NZ smart meter installer lies to gain access to property

Website editor’s note:  The following report has recently come in through our Contact Form from a New Zealander who had a smart meter installed at a property he owns after the installer lied to his neighbour to gain access to the property.

If you do not want a smart meter at your home (or another property that you rent or own) please ensure that your family or employees or tenants (or anyone else with access to your property) know this. 

With this sort of underhand behaviour, it is important to emphasise to family, tenants, employees etc. that they should not allow access to the meter box for any purpose other than meter reading unless they have been specifically advised by YOU that access to the meter box is for a legitimate purpose.

 

The report is below:

 

Had a smart meter install done [date here] 2018 in my shop.  The installer conned owner of shop next door into giving him the shop key by saying meter wasn’t working and that I had requested it be changed.  Installer went inside changed meter and left.  I found out what had happened on [date here] 2018.  LIVID!!

Install was in Invercargill.  Electricity company is Contact Energy.  I phoned Contact and said I wanted the new meter removed and laid a complaint.

BEWARE:  Installers using fraudulent means to enter properties when owner/occupier not present!

 

 

 

Website editor’s note

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company etc. etc,) you may do this through the contact form at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

 

A meter reader provides important info about smart meters

Website editor’s note:  At the link below you can hear Newstalk ZB host Chris Lynch talking to a caller named Chris who said he had worked as a meter reader for over 15 years.  During the conversation, Chris shares important information about smart meters and meter box safety.

Thank you to Chris Lynch for covering this important topic and thank you to Clare Swinney for creating a video from the audio track.

 

Website editor’s note

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example, a significant electricity bill increase or new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company) you may do this through the contact form at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

Faulty smart meter results in massive over-billing

Website editor’s note:  At the link below you can hear Newstalk ZB’s Chris Lynch talking to Genesis customer Bradley Tuhi about how the smart meter installed at his  fully insulated and gas heated home resulted in massively inflated electricity bills.

Thank you to Chris Lynch for covering this important topic and thank you to Clare Swinney for creating a video from the audio track.

 

 

Website editor’s note

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example, a significant electricity bill increase or new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company) you may do this through the contact form at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

Smart meter bullying is an international problem

Website editor’s note:  Over the years Stop Smart Meters NZ has reported on New Zealanders (such as this one) who have been bullied by electricity companies that want to install smart meters at their homes or businesses regardless of the fact that customers don’t want them – and have good reasons for refusing their installation.

Recently Stop Smart Meters NZ received an email regarding a case of smart meter bullying in Spain, illustrating the fact that electricity companies there are similarly shameless in the way that they are prepared to bully people who do not want smart meters.

 

 

June 11, 2018

Dear Stop Smart Meters NZ,

 

I am writing you from Spain, my home country, where a struggle against smart meters has been taking place in the last few years, ever since the Spanish Government issued a decree in 2012 making mandatory to have the analog meters replaced by smart meters.

 

Since I rejected the installation of a smart meter by IBERDROLA – the Spanish utility company three years ago, I have been following very closely this struggle in countries like Unites States, Australia, Canada, United Kindom and, of course, yours in New Zeeland.

 

In Spain, the struggle is relatively active, but the awesome power of electrical companies and the idleness of the government, makes it extremely difficult for citizens to win this war. We have no one in the government willing to openly confront electrical companies, the reason being what you call “revolving doors”, i.e some high government officials are given very well paid jobs in the board of directors of the electrical companies once they leave their public life. We have a list of high ranking officials, including former Spanish presidents, who today are occupying a seat in the board of directors of Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural, etc.,”

 

After my three years of struggle and my repeated argument that I reject the smart meter on medical grounds, (I have been diagnosed with CLL (Leukemia) which could very well be linked to electromagnetic waves), Iberdrola has kept on bullying me and just last week has given me a final warning threatening with having my electrical supply interrupted if I do not let them to install me a smart meter; this is plain bulling since the only reason to suspend electrical supply is to have two consecutive unpaid bills and I always pay my bills on time.

 

I know that my case has nothing to do with your struggle in New Zeeland, but I believe that if, published in your web, it will serve to convey to New Zeeland citizens and also citizens of other countries like myself, that the struggle is not confined to a particular country but that it has become universal, as demonstrated by the already institutionalized “International Day of Action Against Smart Meters”. I can assure you that, if this case is referred in your web, I will make sure that it is published in the various related webs existing in Spain.

 

Kind regards,

Manuel Delgado

Madrid, Spain

 

Website editor’s note

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company, you may do this through the contact form at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

International Holistic Cancer Symposium to feature speaker on electromagnetic radiation and cancer

International Holistic Cancer Symposium to feature speaker on electromagnetic radiation and cancer

The International Holistic Cancer Symposium coming up in Auckland on March 24-25m 2018 includes presentations on many aspects of cancer prevention and treatment.

One of the presentations will be by Katherine Smith whose talk will focus on electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and health with special reference to cancer.  Her presentation will also discuss ways to use modern technology more safely to reduce the risks of cancer (and other adverse health effects) associated with some products such as cell phones.

The website for the symposium is

https://holisticcancersymposium.com/

 

Please share this link so that people who are interested learn about this event. Thank you.

 

 

Interested in the smart meter issue or electromagnetic radiation and health issues?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Stop Smart Meters NZ now has a Facebook page which you are invited to like and follow:

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Landline phone issue; Submissions period extended to March 30

Legislation currently being considered by the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee could mean that many New Zealanders lose access to the copper landline phone system that allows a reliable corded home phone that will work during a power outage as well as a safe, low cost wired internet connection.

(Please click HERE for background information.)

Submissions officially closed on this relevant bill on February 2.

However, from speaking to the Clerk for the select committee, I have learned that Grey Power members have an extension of time to make submissions until March 30.  (This being said, as the committee has had a preliminary meeting on the  telecommunications bill on February 15, so the sooner it receives submissions, the better.)

Grey Power is an organisation that represents New Zealanders aged 50 years and older.  You can learn about Grey Power by clicking HERE it and find out how to become a member if you are eligible by clicking HERE.

 

If you would like to make a submission, please see the link below for information on how to do this.

 

The key message to deliver to the committee is that you oppose any regulation that could end access to the copper phone infrastructure and that you support a 30 year moratorium on removal of copper infrastructure.

 

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Spark plans to force customers from copper to wireless internet

With the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee considering legislation* that could phase out the copper landline infrastructure, an article in C0mputer World from 2016 bears consideration.

(*Please click HERE for details of the legislation and how to make a submission to help save NZ’s copper landline infrastructure.)

The link that shows that Spark plans to force people who are not considered to use “large” amounts of data from copper to wireless (and deprive these customers of a safe hardwired internet access option).

https://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/609604/spark-abandon-copper-fibre-wireless-broadband/

The copper network allows people have a safe, wired low cost internet connection as well as a safe corded home phone that will work even in a power blackout.

Wireless internet connections have the significant disadvantage that wireless modems and routers produce microwave radiation  which is considered to be a possible human carcinogen (Class 2B).

Also,  NZ’s “safety” standards for microwave radiation were largely developed by telecommunications industry personnel and there can be adverse health and biological effects at levels much lower than are allowed under the NZ standard.  (Please click HERE to read more about this issue and access information about potential  health effects from wireless technologies.)

To learn how to make a submission to save NZ’s copper landline infrastructure, please click HERE.

Making a submission can take as little as 5 minutes.

 

 

Website editor’s note:  Feedback from readers who are familiar with any other NZ telecommunications policies would be welcome. You may contact Stop Smart Meters NZ via our online contact form at the link below: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

 

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

We hope that you will support the new campaign to save copper landline phones infrastructure.

If you are a Grey Power member, you have an extension to write a submissions on this issue until March 30 2018.  please click HERE for details.

These two Facebook pages will be updated with developments on this issue so if you are on FB, please consider following and liking these pages:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

 

 

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre?

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre?

Stop Smart Meters NZ has received a lot of feedback regarding the newsletter on the 2018 legislation that appeared to be designed to phased out access to the copper landline system in at least some parts of New Zealand.

Removal of the copper landline system would mean that people lose access to the safe copper landline based phones that will work whether or not a home has power and also lose access to the low cost internet option that this infrastructure facilitates.

(If you are not already aware of this issue, please read this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/ )

One of the questions is as follows:

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre optics in your home?

The answer to this question is basically yes, but there are a few additional important facts to consider.

Voice Quality

The voice quality over VOIP phones can be poorer than traditional corded landline phones that use the copper phone line network and this may be a problem for people who have hearing deficits and and/or those who are communicating on the phone in a language that is not their mother tongue.

(Please note that the voice quality may vary with the type of phone.  Also, the settings used within a fibre system can impact on voice quality when using a phone with a fibre system.  If you are setting up a fibre based phone and internet system, let your  provider know that good voice quality on the phone is important to you and ask what needs to be done to achieve the highest possible voice quality.)

Options For Safe Corded Phones With Fibre

If you move to a fibre only system your existing corded landline phone may not work as it is probably designed for copper only.

However, in some cases you may be able to use your existing copper landline phone.

Option A

The Residential Gateway installed as part of a fibre system may have a POTS (“Plain Old Telephone Service”) port.  If this is the case, you can plug a normal corded phone into this port as it should work with the same phone that you use with the copper system.

Option B

If the Residential Gateway installed at your home does not have a POTS port*  another option to have a safe corded phone is to buy a device called an ATA (“Analog Telephone Adaptor”) that provides a POTS port into which you can plug in the same type of phone that you use with the copper network.

Option C

You could buy a corded VOIP phone and plug this directly into your Residential Gateway in order to have a safe corded phone. From a quick look online, corded VOIP phones start at around $100 each.

Phones that Connect to the Fibre System Will Fail During a Power Blackout – Unless YOU Buy a Backup System

Another important factor to consider is that a VOIP phone (or any phone that is connected via the Residential Gateway to the fibre system) is dependent on mains electricity to work.  This means that unlike the good old copper landline corded phone system –  which will usually work in a power black out –  a VOIP phone (or any other phone that is connected into the fibre system) will NOT function if you lose power.

NB: If you have a cell phone, don’t count on your cell phone to work if you lose electricity, either, as a local power outage could cut power to cellular phone infrastructure resulting in no cellular phone service.

Options For Maintaining a Working Phone During a Power Blackout

It is possible to buy a component of a fibre system called a UPS  (“Uninterruptible Power Supply”) which acts as a back-up so that your VOIP phone will work during a power black out (provided the local cabinet that runs the fibre system in your area does not itself lose power and/or has adequate battery back up itself) but these are not cheap. One UPS I saw online recommended by a NZ telecommunications company was $380 + GST.  There are less expensive options.

The time that a UPS may be able to keep your phone running before its batteries are drained may be variable; it could be as a little as 10 hours. (Obviously the running time of a UPS system is something that should be investigated prior to deciding what system to buy.)

For those who have appropriate technical expertise, a solar panel could be another option to use as part of  a back-up system for a phone connected to the fibre network.

UPS systems can contain lithium ion batteries which are an explosion risk in the event of a fire.

Conclusion

So, to sum it up you can have a corded landline if you have fibre only but it may you cost more if you have to buy a new phone or an adaptor.  Moreover,  your phone won’t work if you lose power – unless you buy a UPS which is not part of the standard fibre systems being installed so this would represent an extra cost.

(If anyone has information about how long different brands of  UPS have worked during actual power black outs in NZ, please email through our contact form:  https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ )

In short, a basic corded phone that works through the copper landline system provides an economical and safe home phone that will currently work even if you lose power.  However, if you are in an area from which the copper service is being withdrawn, you should still be able to have a safe corded phone for home use by using one of the options outlined above.

* An example of a Residential Gateway with a POTS port may be seen below

Special issues for people who are electrosensitive

One of the reasons that it is important to maintain access to the copper landline system is that a basic corded home phone that works through the copper landline system is a type of phone that some people who have become electrosensitive can use.

However, a fibre system that includes all hardwired components may be fine for many people who are electrosensitive.

Please see this link for information about how to have a hardwired internet connection via the fibre system at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/considering-ultrafast-broadband/

More information about electrosensitivity may be found at these links:

A helpful paper on electromagnetic sensitivity by Dr. Mallery-Blythe

Retired CEO speaks out on electrosensitivity

Electrohypersensitivity – a short film by Time magazine free to watch online

What is it like to live with electrohypersensitivity (EHS)? One woman’s story

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter or landline phone issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue  for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

There is also now a dedicated website for the landline phone issue at www.saveourlandlines.nz

Template submission on “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”

Website editor’s note:  The copper lines that are used for landline phones (and the safe hardwired internet access that these line also facilitate) are under threat in NZ.  Please see this LINK for an introduction.

if you would like to make a submission on the issue there is information on how to do this and where to send it that you can read by clicking https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/.

Below is a template submission that you can use.  Please note that the text in bold italics is designed to edited out when you add your own details to personalise the submission.

 

 

Template submission

 

Your name here

 

“Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”

 

 

I oppose any change to telecommunications legislation or regulations that could make copper landline phones and/or internet access via the copper landline system unavailable to New Zealanders.

 

The copper landline system is a proven and safe technology that is better for people’s health than wireless systems.

 

[Please add a personal comment here]

 

For example: 

* Is it important to you to keep access to a landline home phone in case of a medical emergency?

* Do you have a friend or relative whose life was saved by being able to make a 111 call from their home phone?

* Are you on a low income and could not afford to replace perfectly good corded home phones and install fibre optic cabling in your home in order to have a corded VOIP phone if the copper landline service were no longer available in your area?

* Are you planning to start a family and want to ensure that you maintain access to a reliable copper landline service so that you can have a safe corded landline phone in your home for use in pregnancy

* Do you have children and want to ensure that you maintain access to a reliable copper landline service so that you can have a safe corded landline phone in your home for their use?

* Are you a business owner who wants to help meet your obligations to workers to provide a safe working environment by having safe copper corded phones available for their use on your premises?

 

The government needs to ensure that regulations are in place to protect access to copper landline phones in New Zealand and ensure that the infrastructure for this service remains well maintained and available at an affordable price.

 

There should be a thirty year moratorium on the removal of copper landline infrastructure.

 

Contractors installing fibre optic cabling in existing homes or buildings should be prohibited from removing internal copper phone wiring so that a dual system remains available for the use of the current (or future) house/building owner or tenant(s).

 

Installation of the copper landline system should be mandated for  new housing areas and new commercial and industrial developments.

 

To reduce the burden of illness on individuals, families and taxpayers, the use of copper landline based corded phones and safe hard wired internet should be encouraged by the government to minimise the avoidable health risks from unnecessary use of cellular phones.  Likewise, the government should encourage the use of hardwired computers for internet access.

 

I would/would not (please delete one of these options depending upon your preference) like to speak to this submission.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your name

 

 

Send your submission (ideally as an attachment) to: edsi@parliament.govt.nz

Include your name, address and contact details in the body of the email.

If you are emailing your submission, please send an email through the Stop Smart Meters NZ contact form to let us know that you have sent a submission.

NB: If you would prefer to write a submission from scratch rather than using a template, please see this link for a “how to” guide   https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/

 

Thank you for reading this post and for helping retain access to safe landline technology!

Now, please help share this information with others.

 

You can get updates on the landline phone issue by following the Facebook page below:

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

A more comprehensive guide to making a submission may be found at this LINK:

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/new-zealands-emr-regulations-sufficient-protect-public-health/

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

 

 

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz!

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM WEBSITE EDITOR:  If you are a Grey Power member there is still time to make a submission on this bill as members of this organisation have been given a extension until March 30. Please click HERE to learn more.

 

Introduction:

 

1 1 1

 

It’s the number you dial in an emergency and for most New Zealanders it has been a reliable home phone that they have used if they have ever faced a medical emergency or needed to call the Fire Service or the police.

 

Most New Zealanders cannot remember ever having lived without a basic home phone, thanks to the reliable copper-based infrastructure that has been installed all around New Zealand over the course of many, many decades.

 

Now, a new bill threatens continuing access to a copper-based landline home phone and safe, low cost wired internet access for people living in many parts of New Zealand.

 

The “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill” could result in copper landline services being phased out in areas of New Zealand where fibre optic cables have been installed. If the bill is passed in its current form this bill it would deprive people of the basic home phone service and safe wired internet connection.

 

The entire bill may be read at this link:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74818/telecommunications-new-regulatory-framework-amendment

The clause of the bill that proposes to deregulate the copper phone line infrastructure in parts of NZ where fibre optic infrastructure has been installed and could result in copper based infrastructure being phased out is below:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0293/latest/DLM7393574.html

 

The parliamentary website link that details how to make a submission is below:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/52SCED_SCF_BILL_74818/telecommunications-new-regulatory-framework-amendment

 

Here is a brief guide to how to make a submission on the bill:

Please take five minutes to make a submission.

 

If you are a Grey Power member you have an extension on the time you have to make a submission until March 30. Please click HERE for details

 

It is extremely important that as many people as possible express their opinions on the importance of maintaining landline phones.

 

  1. Open a new document on your computer, or get some writing paper. Start your document with your name, “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”, and “I oppose any change to NZ’s telecommunications regulations that could mean that people who live in areas where fibre optic infrastructure has been installed would lose access to a safe and reliable copper cable based landline phone line and internet access service” or similar words to this effect.

 

  1. You can then write as little or as much as you want, sharing your views about why it is important for people to be able to have access to a copper phone line.

If you would support 30 year moratorium on the removal of copper landline infrastructure, please state this, in your submission.

  1. If you need ideas for your submission many reasons why reasons why copper based phone lines are important for a safe home phone line and inexpensive internet access are listed at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/reasons-oppose-legislation-reduce-access-copper-landline-phone-system/

 

NB: It is best to write a unique submission (even a short one) as a unique submission will carry more weight with the select committee. 

However, if you are really pressed for time there is a template submission that you can download and personalise from this LINK of the Stop Smart Meters NZ website.

If you do use the template submission, please make it as individual as possible as that it does not appear to be a template submission.

 

If you wish to appear before the Committee to speak to your submission, then state that also. (NB: Speaking before the committee is optional).

 

  1. If you’re emailing your submission, ATTACH your submission document (step 1) to the email, and in the email itself, put the heading: Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill” and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details in the attached submission document as your submission is posted on the government website.

 

Send your submission to: edsi@parliament.govt.nz

If you are emailing your submission, please send an email through the Stop Smart Meters NZ contact form to let us know tat you have sent a submission.

  1. If you’re posting your submission, once you have completed step 1, do a covering letter (separate piece of paper) with the heading “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”, and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details on your actual submission (step 1) as your submission is posted on the government website (but not the covering letter)
  2. Post to: Matt Lamb, Committee Secretariat, Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160.

 

Thank you in advance for making a submission!

The closing date for submissions was February 2 but Grey Power members have an extension until March 30. Please click HERE for details.

 

Thank you for reading this post; please share it with others:

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following page so that you can get updates on the landline phone issue.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important:

 

Are New Zealand’s EMR regulations sufficient to protect public health?

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

 

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

Ongoing access to a safe copper landline phone and safe wired internet (using the copper landline system) in NZ is currently threatened by new legislation.  (Please see this LINK for details,)

There is now an extension period for submissions are due on the bill until March 30 2018 for Grey Power members.  (Please see this ttp://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/ for details including information on how to make a submission – it can take as little as five minutes.)

There are many reasons to oppose any legislation that could reduce New Zealander’s access to the safe home phone and internet services provided via the copper landline phone system.  These are listed below.

 

Maintaining New Zealanders’ access to copper based phone lines is important for two main reasons:

 

  • Public Health

  • Equity and Fairness

 

These are detailed below:

 

  • Public health

 

The copper based landline phone infrastructure allows almost everyone in New Zealand to have access to a safe home phone that will work even in a power outage.

The copper based infrastructure allows most people in New Zealand to choose to have an inexpensive corded phone.

Such a phone does not expose the user to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range as do cellular phones (or any other sort of wireless phone.)

Access to a safe corded phone is important because use of any type of wireless phone (such as cordless home phone or cellular phone) is associated with increased risk of brain tumours, particularly if wireless phone use begins prior to the age of 20. (http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680%2814%2900064-9/pdf)

RFR microwave radiation has been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen (Class 2B) on the basis of increased brain tumour rates in longer term users of wireless phones. http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-reviewhttp://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review

(Babies and children absorb more of the RFR microwave radiation into their brains compared to adults as their skulls are smaller and the bones of their skulls thinner.)

 

The benefits of a safe corded home phone are many and include the following:

 

  • Allowing people to call emergency services if needed. (Cellular phone services cannot be relied upon in a power blackout as the local cellular infrastructure may lose its power source.)

 

  • Allowing people who are home bound due to illness or disability to maintain more frequent contact with friends and relatives thus reducing the social isolation that helps to cause many health issues, including depression.

 

 

  • A corded landline phone may be safely used by almost everyone including most individuals who are electrosensitive who cannot tolerate the microwave radiation from cordless or cellular phones. (Some people who are electrosensitive may not be able to tolerate electromagnetic fields produced by computers or computer screens so having a safe corded phone is particularly important to the community of people who are electrosensitive.)

 

 

Such an inexpensive safe hardwired system provide a safe alternative to wireless based internet options such as wi-fi or cellular phone based systems as the wireless systems expose the user, other household members and neighbours to RFR microwave radiation that has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. (http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review)

 

Accessing the internet via a hardwired computer (rather than a cellular phone) is better for people who have visual impairments as the larger screen size of the computer allows people to increase the font size to help to compensate for low vision.

 

 

  • Equity and Fairness

 

 

Much of New Zealand’s telephone infrastructure was installed at taxpayers’ expense beginning with the formation of The New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department in the 19 century.  The New Zealand Post Office was responsible for phone lines until telecommunications services were privatised in NZ in 1987. http://www.wordworx.co.nz/Telecommhist.html

 

 

  • A copper based corded landline phone is the safest type of phone (because this type of phone does not emit potentially carcinogenic RFR microwave radiation as do cordless or mobile phones).

 

It would be unfair to deny people who live in areas where fibre optic cabling has been laid to be deprived of the opportunity to continue to use safe copper based corded landline phones give that they are a proven and safe technology.

 

VOIP phones with corded headset could be considered to be an alternative to corded landline phones and VOIP phones will work with a fibre basd system,  They may be an acceptable option for some people. However the VOIP option can have lower voice quality and they may not good for hearing impaired or for people who have to talk on the phone in a language that is not their mother tongue.

 

Corded VOIP phones are also considerably more expensive (at least four times the price) than corded home phones and unlike traditional corded home phones, VOIP phones are dependent on electricity so will not work in a power blackout (unless the fibre system has a special component to to provide backup power in an emergency.

 

VOIP phones contain a lot more electronics than a basic corded home phone and may not be a usable option for people who are electrosensitive.

 

  • Homes and businesses that have a copper based landline infrastructure can use that copper landline to access inexpensive safe hardwired internet services.

 

It is unfair to expect people for whom copper phone line based internet works well for their home or business needs to have to pay extra cost to have fibre optic cabling installed in their home or business (as would be the case if a reliable copper landline service were no longer available in their area.)

(This link shows how easy and inexpensive it is to set up a safe hardwired internet system in a house or other property with copper phone line access: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/an-inexpensive-way-to-hard-wire-an-internet-connection/)

 

  • Making any changes to telecommunications regulations that would be likely to increase the cost of and/or reduce access to safe copper based landline corded phones and safe copper phone line based internet could increase people’s use of wireless phones and wireless internet access devices.  if this were to happem it would likely to increase the numbers of people who are suffering from a diverse range of illnesses caused (at least in part) by exposure to RFR microwave radiation.

 

These health problems can include brain tumours, salivary gland cancers and other cancers at sites of the body exposed to high levels of RFR microwave radiation.  Other problems that have been linked to exposure to RFR microwave radiation include autism and other developmental problems and dementia.

 

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/46/5/1865

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/167/4/457/233171

http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/dr-andrew-goldsworthy-the-biological-effects-of-weak-electromagnetic-fields/

 

Making any decisions about telecommunications infrastructure that could increase the numbers of people who become ill as a result of exposure to RFR microwave radiation (because they assume that the technology would not be on the market if it were not safe and they are unaware of the health risks of their devices) is not fair to the potential victims of this technology.  It is not fair to their families.

 

Neither it is not fair to the taxpayers who have to fund the public health system. It is also unfair to people who require treatment for any other conditions as they may face longer waiting lists.

 

NB: It is unclear if private insurance cover for conditions caused by RFR microwave radiation will continue as a policy from Lloyds of London indicates the company may no longer be prepared to cover these types of injuries.  (See:  https://www.andrewgeller.me/blog/2015/03/25/lloyds-wont-discuss-emf-clause/)

 

Given that learning and behaviour issues can be at least in part caused or exacerbated by exposure to RFR microwave radiation (see: http://www.abcd-studie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/MGuxens-cell-phone-use-in-pregnancy-problem-behaviour-JECH-2013.pdf and http://www.clearlightventures.com/blog/2014/07/emf-reduction-for-autism.html, any decision that increases exposure to this type of radiation is likely to increase the numbers of children who have these conditions.  In turn, this is likely to mean that more children will require extra support within the education system.

 

This is not fair to teachers (because resources within the education system are already constrained so teachers often have to manage challenging children without support from teacher aides). [Personal communications] Neither is it fair to taxpayers who fund the public education system, nor the parents of children who are adversely affected who may have to pay for extra educational help themselves.

 

 

  • Any change to telecommunications policy that increases people’s use of cellular phones (for example because they no longer have access to a safe copper based landline corded phone) would increase the number of cellular phone infrastructure sites and the negative health and other impacts of these sites.  

 

Research has shown increased cancer risk in people who live closer to cellular phone infrastructure, so regulations that are likely to increase cellular phone use are unfair to people who could develop cancer as a result of new infrastructure being installed in their area. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680)

 

Property values close to cellular phone infrastructure sites may be adversely affected so any policy that causes proliferation of these sites is not fair to property owners.

Thank you for reading this post!  Now, please help share this information with others.

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

A guide to making a submission may be found at the link below:

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/new-zealands-emr-regulations-sufficient-protect-public-health/

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter (and landline phone) issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Are New Zealand’s EMR regulations sufficient to protect public health?

Are New Zealand’s EMR regulations sufficient to protect public health?

A one word answer to this question is, sadly, no,

 

To give one example, the legally allowable electromagnetic fields (such as are present around power lines and household wiring in home connection to the national electricity grid) is 2000 milligauss.

Research has shown the risk of childhood leukaemia is increases when children live in homes with higher electromagnetic fields from household wiring or too close to high voltage powerlines.

In terms of exposure levels, at as little as 3-4 milligauss for a home the risk of ALL (the most common form of leukaemia in children) is approximately doubled. (See: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs322/en/)

Yes, that is not a typo, the risk of this form of childhood leukaemia doubles at 1/500th of the maximum legal exposure limit.

Does it seem to you like the standard is adequate to protect health?

 

Here’s another example: 

The standard* for radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range (let’s just call it microwave radiation for short) varies according to exact frequency produced by the many different devices that are designed to produce microwave radiation.

 

Devices that produce microwave radiation include microwave ovens, cordless phones, cell phones, cellular phone infrastructure, “smart” or “advanced” electricity meters, wi-fi routers, wireless baby monitors etc. etc.

 

*For example, for devices that produce microwave radiation at the frequency of 900MHz, the allowable limit is as high as 4,500,000 microwatts per square metre when the device radiates continuously. (See this link for a discussion of one device that produces microwave radiation and how lax the safety standard can be in practice:  https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-emissions-graph/ )

 

Microwave radiation is considered to be a has been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen (Class 2B) on the basis of increased brain tumour rates in longer term users of wireless phones. (See; http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review)

In a more recently published paper, the authors called for microwave radiation to be upgraded to a probable carcinogen due to more evidence. (https://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/46/5/1865)

Cordless and mobile phones have to comply with regulations in order to be sold.  An increased risk of cancer in their longer term users suggests that the safety standards for wireless phones are not adequate to protect public health.

Research on the health effects of microwave radiation is available at the following website: http://www.bioinitiative.org/

If you read the Bioinitiative website (above) you will see that adverse health or biological effects from exposure to microwave radiation begin at levels that are very much lower than the legal limits for devices that produce microwave radiation.

In NZ, the legal limits for exposure to microwave radiation are among the highest (i.e laxest) in the world, and one reason for this appears to be that people in the telecommunications industry played a major role in setting these standards.  You can read more about this by going to this link: https://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/12/14/cellphone-towers-health-and-democracy/

The health risks associated  with cordless and cellular phones (and from cellular phone infrastructure see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680 ) are one reason why New Zealand needs to protect and enhance its traditional copper-based landline phone system.

Our copper landlines are now under threat.  Please visit this LINK  for more details and take action.

 

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz the site that provides New Zealanders with non industry information about smart meters.

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

An entertaining video about smart meters

An entertaining video about smart meters

The people who have produced the video below deserve a round of applause for making the subject of smart meters (which admittedly can be quite dry unless you are a technie) actually entertaining!

Even if you think you already know all about smart meters, this is a video worth watching.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N29AtA3VodU

 

 

Please note that the video “Smart Attack” was produced in North America where  different varieties of smart meters are being used.  In-use testing of smart meters in New Zealand shows that there are varied emission profiles ranging from as often as a pulse of microwave radiation every eight seconds to as infrequently as every eight hours.  (You can click HERE to learn more about how much radiation is produced by the different types of smart meter on the market in NZ.)

However, given that if you accept a smart meter, you have no control over how often it will transmit, the easiest way to protect yourself from the potential risks to your health, privacy and finances explained in the video is to say NO to a smart meter.

Smart meters are not compulsory in NZ.  (Sometimes staff working for electricity retailers will claim that smart meters are a “government requirement” or that existing meters must be replaced with smart meters by a certain date; this is NOT TRUE. (Please see this link for details: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/april-1-deadline-for-electricity-meter-certification/)

There are a variety of alternatives to smart meters on the market in NZ.  They range from electronic meters that are not smart meters, to traditional Ferraris meters. A Ferraris meter is the traditional electromechanical meter that contains no electronics. (Some of the non smart meters available in NZ may be seen at the website of Legacy Metering Group which you may visit by clicking HERE.)

 

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

A tribute to Rob Hutchins, RIP

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).)

(For some of the information about electrosensitivity on this website, please click HERE, HERE and HERE.)

 

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.

It may be read here: https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/fire-victim-%E2%80%98tireless-campaigner%E2%80%99