Serious illness following smart meter installation

Website editor’s note:

The following email was received by in late February 2015:

I have been really ill, requiring hospital treatment 1 or 2 times a month since 2 weeks after having smart meter put in. I had tremors, sharp head pain, urine infections, kidney pain, heart palpitations and severe weight loss, also thyroid problems. The meter was on outside wall by my headboard. I moved out of the bedroom after being told about smart meters.  My symptoms have improved remarkably, but I now have to endure Graves Disease and severe eye disease. For about 18 months I was slowly deteriorating to the point that I honestly thought I would not live. My family thought I was not going to live.  How can these meters be allowed?


[Full name supplied but removed to protect privacy]


In response to an email from more details followed:


Hi Katherine, sorry to take so long with my reply. I was with Genesis. I asked them to remove modem and they said that they had made a decision in November 2014 to not take any more out and that I would have to change power company if I wanted it removed. This decision was made as there were so many people wanting them removed, so I was told. The power meter is 18 inches from my head on outside wall.

This customer’s response was to change to another electricity  retailer.  Her new company: 

“… told me to get a letter from my GP and send it to them. I got a letter and sent and the modem was removed within a few days. I live in [name of location of residence supplied].

Within a few days of moving out of the bedroom into my spare room, I noticed the pain in my head stopped. I had been so sick for about 18 months and no one could explain the reason for it.

One day I was so unwell I got in car and went to my GP. I just said to him that there IS something wrong with me and I want every blood test possible taken.The results showed I had thyroid problems. I was at [name of NZ hospital] every 2 weeks for the next year. I have had Radioactive Iodine treatment. That terrified me after what the radiation from the smart meter had done to me.

I had tremors, heart palpitations, sharp pains up the side of my head, nausea, up 4 or 5 times a night to toilet and developed Thyroid Disease [while the smart meter was installed and prior to the modem being removed – Ed] .

Smart meters are known to cause thyroid cancer*, so guess I’m lucky to have asked for tests when I did. Also recurrent urine infections with no reason for them.

Five weeks have passed [since the modem was removed] and I feel like new. All symptoms have gone completely. My eyes have been affected badly is the only problem I have now. I am also left with Graves Disease and need to now wear sunglasses, even to watch tv  and inside the house until lights off and into bed.  I feel very lucky. I can’t remember who first told me about smart meters and the health problems they cause. Hope this letter helps in any way.

Regards [full name supplied]


Website editor’s note: Reports of “smart” meter-related problems (whether health problems, fires, increased bills or any other problems) may be reported in confidence to via our Contact Form at this link.

Information is not posted on the website unless permission is given for this to be done.

*Ed note: I am not aware of any scientific publications on smart meters and thyroid cancer; however at least one study has shown that cell phone radiation can stimulate thyroid cell division. Many smart meters in NZ use the cellular network frequency.

Prana Festival to feature electropollution workshops

The Prana Festival which takes place at Opoutere on the Coromandel over the New Year (30 December 2014 – 3 January 2015) features music, workshops on subjects as diverse as nutirition, yoga, massage therapy, dance ecology and more.

This year electropollution expert Paul Waddell from has been invited to give two workshops on electropollution.

The workshops will be –

Are Eco Technologies Actually Safe for Humans?  (45 minutes and 30 + minutes questions and discussion)

  • Brief description of Electro-Pollution & the associated health effects
  • Are modern “Eco” technologies actually safe for humans?
    (You may be very surprised by the answers to this question)
  • What are the health risks associated with Solar Photovoltaic systems,
    and how to have a truly safe energy-efficient home

How to Live More Safely in our Modern Techno World  (1.5 hrs + 30 minutes questions and discussion)

  • What are the possible health effects of electric and magnetic fields, microwave radiation and dirty electricity
  • How to measure your environment, a demonstration of test equipment and methods
  • Practical ways to lower your exposure and for you and your family to be safer

Details of the Prana Festival are available here

December 17: Electropollution information evening

Earlier in the year Joey Moncarz, then a teacher at the local school, organised a presentation evening at Waiuku where we both spoke about the hazards of Wi-Fi in schools.

This time Joey has an evening planned for this week on Wednesday night at the Onehunga Community Centre.  Both Joey and Paul Waddell will be talking about Electro-Pollution and particularly the hazards of Microwave Radiation in all of the forms that we are exposed to.  It is short notice but hopefully either you or someone you know can make it along.
Wednesday 17th December at 6.30 pm
Onehunga Community Center
83 Church Street, Onehunga

Love Golden Bay? Please help preserve its wildlife and people

Below is a special message from Golden Bay residents who are fighting to protect their beautiful environment and the health of the local residents and wildlife from the threat of a cell phone tower that Vodafone wants to erect on a site of outstanding natural beauty.

More information on this issue may be found at this page:

Please consider supporting this appeal and also forwarding this link to anyone else who may want to do likewise.  Many thanks.


Approximately two years ago Vodafone proposed a cellphone tower on a coastal ridgeline in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Golden Bay, New Zealand situated next to the Abel Tasman National Park with world class views. The proposed site  was recommended to be preserved as an outstanding natural landscape and is home to  two health and sustainable living retreats, numerous nature trails, wildlife and endangered birds.

In a world of over development, our aim is to preserve this rare natural landscape for people to have a space to retreat  away from visual and electro-magnetic pollution and we wish for future generations to still be able to enjoy nature’s playground.

In a public submission process 75% of submitters were against this particular site for a tower. Vodafone has chosen to circumvent the public process and have used unethical ways to get their tower approved under a “permitted activity” rule, telling half truths to local council and the public.

Golden Bay Natural and Linked are up against the “BIG” guys...the multi-national companies and the government and we can only preserve this space with your help.

We need to raise $20,000 for Environment court proceedings against Vodafone on abuse of process and the local council on inaccurate rule interpretation. This case is a precedent for both local and international regulation on cellphone towers and the liberal relations of governments and telco’s.

We are an independent Incorporated Society, formed to protect, conserve and manage our environment . We can only proceed with this campaign by raising funds to pay for our environmental attorney and legal expenses.

All donations from anywhere in the world are automaticly made in $AU because of the websites settings.

We will express our gratitude to the the highest donor with a free week stay at the Anahata Yoga Retreat  where you can enjoy the yogic lifestyle and connect with this beautiful and hopefuly EMF free zone!


Please donate whatever you can to:

– GoFundMe:



Do you live in Victoria (Australia) or have friends or family there?

If you live in Victoria, Australia, you may well be aware of the controversy surrounding the smart meter issue since the State Government mandated electricity companies to use their “best endeavours” to install smart meters.  In practice, as anyone who reads will be aware, electricity companies’ “best endeavours” to install smart meters have included a variety of bullying tactics.

One well known case was that of Sofia Telemzouguer, who became suddenly and acutely ill after a smart meter was installed in the cavity of  her bedroom wall while she was away on a business trip.  After being discharged from hospital she subsequently found out that the smart meter had been installed and asked the company to remove it.  Her electricity company refused to do so, so in desperation, Sofia organised for an electrician to remove the smart meter.  This relieved many of Sofia’s symptoms but left her with a new problem because her electricity company cut off her power in apparent retribution for removal of the smart meter. (You can read about Sofia’s story here)  After 155 days without power,  Sofia finally managed to get her power turned back on, see here; however her problems are not over as she developed electrohypersensitivity (EHS) from the exposure to the radiation from the smart meter and is now unable to work and suffers debilitating symptoms from involantary exposure to EMR (such from municipal wi-fi routers etc.)

Instances such as these has led to the formation of a new political party in Australia called People Power Victoria which has as its key platform the overturning of the smart meter mandate for the State.

If you are concerned about the smart meter situation please let friends and family who may live in Victoria know about People Power Victoria so they know there is a party that opposes smart meters.

The party website is below:



NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at  This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.



Former Green MP Sue Kedgeley speaks out in NZ Herald about smart meters

Former MP for the Green party Sue Kedgeley,  has spoken out in the NZ Herald about why she does not want a smart meter in her home.

You can read her contribution at this link


NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at  This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.

Take Back Your Power, Tairua

Tairua is currently the location of a trial of smart water meters, so it’s especially appropriate that the town is going to have a screening of Take Back Your Power (see; the award-winning documentary that gives all the facts about smart meters.

The date for the screening is:   Tuesday 25th November

Venue:  Tairua Community Library

Time:  6:30 – 8:30pm

Donation/Koha requested to help cover the organiser’s costs, please.

To be put in touch with the local organiser, please email through this  link and with your permission your enquiry will be forwarded on.   Thank you.


NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at  This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.



Cell phone safety infographic (Must-read for everyone with a cell phone!)

The website has a recent post on the cell phone safety issue that is a must read for everyone with a cell phone. Here’s the introduction to the post…

By Kimberly Carter Gamble  13 Sept. 2014

When cell phones first came out, I used to hold mine directly up to my ear for what amounted to hours a day. A few years ago, I had surgery for removal of cancer in the exact spot I held my phone. I can’t prove direct causation, but that’s when I started looking into the possible ramifications of radiation from cell phones.

After that, I started reading the small print that came with the cell phones I bought and noticed even they had warnings about the radiation. But it took some real sleuthing to find it. Take Apple, for example; the manual tells you to go to the Apple website for a detailed explanation of safety. After sorting thru looking for the right link, you open the document where it tells you to go look on your phone. To access the info on the phone, you go to Settings > General > About > Legal > RF Exposure. It’s pretty daunting, and within the info, they refer you back to their website for more info on their testing. The process is quite a run-around.

Knowing that not everyone has the time or inclination to do the research needed to figure out what’s true and what habits would help keep us all safer, the THRIVE team created this infographic for you to see and share.

The infographic is below:


Please note that when it suggests a wired headset for a cell phone, the best type of wired headset is an air tube headset and when speaking from a landline, use a traditional landline with a cord, as cordless DECT phones were shown in one study to have similar cancer risks to cell phones.

NB:  While you can keep yourself safer by following the advice on the infographic, ideally cell phone use should be minimised as the more people who use cell phones, the more cell phone infrastructure is needed to support the use of the phones, and cell phone towers themselves appear to be a cancer risk.


If you are interested in EMR and health please sign up for the email list at  This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.

Link to original source post:

Mike Mitcham lecture on smart meters and the smart grid

Don’t miss this compelling video of a lecture and power point presentation by Mike Mitcham from on smart meters, the smart grid and the “internet of things”.  Health, privacy and other important issues are covered in an engaging and  informative presentation.


If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at  This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.

FREE screening of Microwaves, Science and Lies

What happens when a doctor and his local community ask questions about a proposed Cell Phone Tower in their neighbourhood ? The answers will shock you.  This is a ‘Must See’ Movie – and here is your opportunity to see it for free.

When? Tuesday 28th October at 7.00pm

Where: St Heliers Centre, 100 St Heliers Bay Rd, St Heliers, Auckland 1071

(If you are not in Auckland, please let friends and family in Auckland know about the screening in a timely manner so they don’t miss out.)

Booking essential:  Tel 5756098

There will be free refreshments after the movie.

Paul Waddell from will be available to answer questions.


If you are interested in the microwave radiation and health issues, please consider joining the email list for to get updates on what is happening with the smart meter issue in NZ.  (If you are in Australia, please visit

October 16, Take Back Your Power, Napier!

Just a reminder that on October 16 there is a special community screening of the award winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power.

Please make plans to attend and/or tell friends and family in this area about the screening. Thank you!

For full details see this link:




Smart meters, heat pumps and “demand response functionality”

Smart meters, heat pumps and “demand response functionality”

An earlier post on this website (since corrected) erroneously stated that having a smart meter could mean that householders could have their heat pump turned off remotely by their electricity company.  (In actual fact, some smart meters may be able to turn down heat pumps down to their lowest setting, but they should not be able to turn them off  altogether… please read on for more details and to learn whether you may be affected if you have a heat pump that may be able to be controlled via a smart meter.)

My initial error (in stating that a smart meter with a ZigBee chip* could potentially be used to remotely turn off a heat pump) was kindly pointed out to me by Graeme Purches from Trustpower.  In an email he wrote:

“There are probably less than 20 meters in NZ that are equipped for this [turning off  heat pumps and other devices remotely], and they are installed as part of field trials to test their capabilities.”

He added:

“At the end of the day, the direction the industry is headed is that people will in the future be able to determine at which price point they want their appliances to start and stop. The control will be in the hands of the consumer, unlike controlled hot water, which is a network load issue and can legitimately be controlled in return for lower price because those using the option have hot water storage. You can’t  ‘store’ the heat from a heat pump so the industry would never want to control those.”

I decided to investigate the issue of how smart meters may be used to remotely control heat pumps (without the householder’s consent) in more detail.

My initial (and as it turned out, incorrect) information about heat pumps having mandatory “demand response functionality”  came from the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

In following up on this issue, I first tried to access the current  standard for heat pumps and found that while there was one in existence, I could not access it unless I either went to the central library in Auckland (not very practical) or paid a couple of  hundred dollars (not feasible either).

I therefore sought the advice of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency (EECA). 

A helpful staff member wrote an email that explained the following:

1)  That having “demand response functionality” is not currently mandatory in NZ.

2)  That some of the heat pumps on the NZ market do have “demand response functionality”.  This “demand response functionality” cannot be used to turn the heat pump off altogether but it can be used to turn the heat pump down to its lowest setting.

3)  That manufacturers can choose to show that their heat pump has demand response functionality on the label on their heat pump.  You can click on the image to make it larger.  The tick mark which is circled in red indicates that the appliance has “demand response functionality”.

Photo of labelling showing demand response functionality

Presumably heat pumps that have “demand response functionality” will contain a ZigBee and/or some other radiofrequency radiation (RFR) producing device to allow the appliance to communicate with a smart meter.   I have no idea whether appliances which have “demand response functionality” will be producing RFR all the time or intermittently or whether the default setting for the appliance will have the “demand response functionality” switched off.

However, if you do not want extra RFR in your environment and/or you do not want to risk your electricity company being able to control your heat pump via a smart meter in your home,  it would seem prudent to avoid buying items with “demand response functionality” indicated by the label.

Please note that I do not know whether it is mandatory for manufactures that make appliances that have “demand response functionality” to declare this capability on the label.  For this reason it would be prudent to ask the retailer whether any appliance you would like to buy has any “demand response functionality”, regardless of the label.  If you already have a heat pump and it not longer has its label, please see the info at the bottom of this post.


So there you have it.  It does appear that some smart meters in NZ (those than contain ZigBee chips*) may have the capacity to remotely control some heat pumps, although this feature may not yet be active.  It also appears that there are heat pumps on the NZ market which have “demand response functionality” which could allow them to be controlled via a smart meter.


*In NZ,  smart meters that contain ZigBee chips include:

WEL Networks Ltd “smart box” (actually a Landis+Gyr smart meter) and the Landis+Gyr smart meters being installed by Network Tasman Ltd  and Counties Power in South Auckland/Franklin.  These contain a “silver spring” brand “network interface card” which includes a  modem and a ZigBee.  The default mode for the ZigBee on the “silver spring” brand “network interface card” has been stated to be inactive, so these ZigBee chips, may not yet be functional.  (Presumably they could be activated remotely by a power or lines company should the company with an active link to the smart meter modem decide to do this.)

It is possible other smart meters contain ZigBee chips; some EDMI smart meters which are very common in NZ have the potential to include a ZigBee chip. 

If  you are in any doubt about whether the smart meter at your home has a ZigBee chip,  your electricity retailer should be able to tell y0u.


If your heat pump no longer has its label you can find out about its “demand response functionality” through the following procedure:


1)  Go to this link:

 2) Scroll down the link above until you come to this text:

Next steps for households and businesses

3) Click on the word “Compare energy ratings”…as above and you will get to this link:


4) At the link above you will see a list…pick “Air Conditioners” by clicking on this link Air Conditioners – AS/NZS 3823.2 and you will get through to this link:


At the link above you will see a row of black buttons…one is Download CSV. 

Click on this and you will get an Excel file. Open the file.

The field that indicates whether a heat pump has “demand response functionality” is labelled “BE” at the top of the column. The word “TRUE” in the “BE” column indicates the heat pump has “demand response functionality”.  The word “FALSE” in the “BE” column indicates that a heat pump does not have “demand response functionality” .



Can smart meters be hacked to cause power blackouts?

Anyone who was affected by the recent blackout in parts of Auckland will have a new awareness of just how dependent we are as a society on electricity.  Black0uts are not only inconvenient but potentially dangerous to health and costly to businesses.  (Fortunately in the latest black-out, caused by a fire destroying cables at a substation in the suburb of Penrose, there were no fatalities from the fire, nor, as far as I know, from interruption of power supply to people who are dependent on medical technologies that require electricity.)

Smart meters and the purportedly “smart grid” may potentially increase the risk of further black outs, as “black hat” hackers are set to reveal soon, according to an article on  A hostile government or other organisation (or even an individual) with a destructive agenda could potentially cause massive disruption to a city or perhaps even an entire country by hacking smart meters or “smart grid” infrastructure.

Full details are at this link:




October 16, Take Back Your Power Marton!

Just a reminder that there will be a second community screening of the award-winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power in Marton on October 16.  Full details are at this link:

Please let family and friends in this area know about this screening.

Also:  If you are on Facebook you may like to visit this new group and let your friends know about it.

Thank you!



Did you agree to have a WEL Networks “smart box” installed because you thought it was compulsory?

A statement on WEL Networks Ltd’s website gives the impression that it is compulsory to accept a WEL “smart box”.

In actual fact, a WEL  Networks “smart box” is actually a Landis+Gyr smart meter and there is NO government requirement for WEL Networks to install these so-called “smart boxes” and there is NO government requirement for anyone to accept the installation of a “smart box’.

These “smart boxes” can expose people in a home or business to a considerable amount of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range.  (See this link for details of how much microwave radiation a WEL “smart box” can produce:

WEL smart boxes may eventually produce microwave radiation more frequently than they do at present, since if Councils in the Waikato area adopt wireless so-called “smart” water meters (see this link and this link for details) the WEL smart boxes could be used to collect and send on the information from the “smart” water meters.

If you agreed to the installation of a WEL “smart box” because you believed it was compulsory but do not want to be exposed to the microwave radiation that it produces, you may want to contact WEL Networks Ltd to arrange the removal of the smart box.

If you do ask for WEL Networks to remove a smart box, please email through this link  to let me know how the company responds. Thank you.