On Tuesday May 13, 2014, Andrew Stanton, a representative of Network Tasman Ltd gave a presentation to the local board at the Takaka Fire Station.  The reason for the  presentation was that this lines company, owned by a community trust, plans to install “smart meters” (the company uses the term “advanced meters”, rather than “smart meters”) in homes and business in the Nelson and Tasman areas.  In addition, the company has announced the intention to develop a “region wide communications network (‘smart grid’)” through which information is relayed.

The one hour presentation was accompanied by a Powerpoint slide show and was described as “slick and quick” by a local resident who attended the meeting.  Members of the public were able to ask questions at the presentation and were told that they would be given answers to written questions at a later date.

Further information about this meeting will be posted when it is available.




Lawyer Sue Grey* also met with Network  Tasman staff during the same week. This was a private meeting.

At the meeting she presented her own Powerpoint slide show which can be downloaded at the link below.

Sue Grey’s Powershop Presentation on Smartmeters for Network Tasman


Sue Grey’s own account of the meeting is below:

I was invited to my own private meeting with the CEO and two senior employees of Network Tasman yesterday following my objection to having a smart meter and my explanation why I did not want one.


I prepared a power point summary which I presented at the meeting (I’m happy to share it if you want it). I also left them with a copy of Dr Sophie Walker (of Crown Research Institute ESR)’s most recent (Aug 2013) biannual review of recent EMR research, key points of which I had summarised during my presentation.


“They listened and even asked some questions, however I fear that they will default back to the status quo of money before health.


Crux of key comments/conversations (not necessarily exactly word for word):


NT: If we don’t install smart meters then the power companies will.

SG: What if you go public and state that you have decided not to install them due to public health concerns? You are a community-owned company, you have a great opportunity to make an important stand.

NT:  CEO looking absolutely terrified: “The power companies will install them anyway.”

SG: Make them tell the  public why they are putting money ahead of public health. Well, let them, and let them explain.


NT: We appreciated your presentation but you should not have said we are hiding behind NZS2772:1 1999.

SG : Well, you are. It is an outdated and unsafe standard


NT: Are you also worried about safety risks from electrical supply?

SG: Yes I am, and I am aware of people who suffer greatly within their own homes already, and that NZ regulation is very lax about how wiring is set up. However I am here today to try to prevent new sources of harm that will add to any existing problems


NT: We only will transmit every 4 hours (house smart meter to relay or/and house to local network.)

SG: You only send power bills once a month- so why do you need to transmit any more often than that?

NT: Our clients  consumers want it

SG: By consumers do you mean the public or the power companies

NT: No clear response

SG: (they clearly mean the power companies).

NT: In Christchurch most of Meridian’s customers who have smart meters check the computer feedback regularly during the day.

SG: Are you telling me that people’s lives have become so boring that they have nothing better to do than check their smart meter feedback? Are you talking about private consumers or corporate users?

NT: Everyone … we think


NT: We are not aware of anyone who has suffered health effects from smart meters since they have been rolled out in Christchurch

SG: How hard have you looked? Perhaps I can help you with that.


Site editor’s comments:  Personally I find it difficult to believe the claim by Network Tasman Ltd that the “smart meters” that they want to install in people’s home will transmit only every four hours.The company’s website states that “future benefits” of having a “smart meter” include “real-time information to drive smarter electricity choices.”.

I doubt that “real time information” in this context means that the “smart meters” will be transmitting data about electricity use only once every four hours, or if they are, this will only be for a short time, after which they will transmit much more frequently.  In Auckland, some electricity companies (such as Mercury Energy) have advertised one of the benefits of having a ‘smart meter” as being able to check on electricity use every 30 minutes, which suggest the meters must transmit every half hour (if not more frequently.)

However, Network Tasman Ltd’s website already includes statements of dubious veracity*, so it appears that either some of its staff are not well-informed about the “smart meter” issue – or the company may perhaps be trying to conceal unpalatable facts about “smart meters” from the public.

So, the question remains…will Network Tasman persist in its plan to roll out “smart meters” and the “smart grid” despite the potential threat to people’s health posed by the exposure to additional electromagnetic radiation?  Or will it do the right thing by its community and re-certify analogue meters that are in good working order – or install brand new analogue (Ferraris) meters?

*See these links for discussion of information about Network Tasman Ltd


*Here in Sue Grey’s own words is how she came to be interested in the EMR issue:

I live in Network Tasman area but only became aware of their intention to force smart meters on their customers by a story in the Nelson Mail.

I wrote expressing my concerns and NT eventually responded by inviting me to meet with them.

My interest in EMR issues arose in 2008 after I was asked to assist my local community to investigate and then help the community oppose a proposal by Telecom to put a new cell tower approximately 5m from the sandpit at Atawhai Playcentre. This led to a petition by Sarah Allan and 3100 others to parliament and a response in November 2009 by the Local Government and Environment Committee recommending a review of NZS2772:1 1999 and of the composition of the Government’s Interagency Advisory Committee on the Health Effects of Non-Ionising Radiation to remove vested interests from the Committee (eg the Telcos and other economic interests who are currently on it) and to add community and health advisors.

The then Minister Nick Smith and his Cabinet rejected these proposals.