Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ and you can refuse a smart meter whether you own your own home, or if you are renting.
This is because the meter box is part of the home. (Even if you do not own the meter inside the box – most meters in NZ are NOT owned by home owners – the meter box does NOT belong to your electricity retailer; it is the property of the home owner.)
If you own your own home, the meter box is your own property.
If you rent your home, as a tenant you are entitled to “quiet enjoyment” of the home that you are renting.
“Quiet enjoyment means being able to enjoy reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, and allowing others to enjoy the same.” (See: https://tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/quiet-enjoyment/)
Considering that smart meters have health risks and privacy risks which could interfere with your enjoyment of your rented home (and, if you live in an urban area, emissions from a smart meter at your home could potentially adversely affect your neighbours) these seem like very good reasons to refuse a smart meter.
Please note that I am not a lawyer so this post should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
Many New Zealanders, both home owners and people who are renting, have successfully refused smart meters.
If you do not want to expose yourself to the potential risks of smart meters, which include health and fire risks, as well as higher bills, you may like to read this link to find out about how other New Zealanders are successfully preventing smart meters from being installed at their homes and businesses.
To stay up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz