Communications Minister Amy Adams and Environment Minister Nick Smith told the Resource Management Law Association conference yesterday that changes to modernise & streamline the national environmental standard for telecommunications facilities would speed up improvements and reduce costs for consumers.
Ms Adams said the updated standard would speed up the availability of major rollouts such as ultra-fast broadband, the rural broadband initiative & 4G.
And Dr Smith told the conference: “This new standard will reduce by thousands the number of resource consents required in upgrading New Zealand’s telecommunications infrastructure. Installations like wi-fi panels, street cabinets, light pole antennas & cabling will not require consents where they meet the national environmental standards, saving millions in compliance costs.”
“Under the new rules, telecommunications operators won’t need to apply for resource consent for common activities such as deploying fibre, upgrading antennas, co-locating multiple operators’ antennas and installing new rural sites, provided they meet specified conditions. The current standard only covers a small range of antennas & cabinets in the road reserve.
Local councils will continue to manage, through the existing rules in their district plans, activities that don’t qualify as permitted activities under the regulations, and land or building owner consent will still be required.
The new standard will also not change the exposure standard for radiofrequency fields. All new telecommunications infrastructure will continue to need to comply with the exposure standard referenced in the standard.
Attribution: Ministerial release.