This article provides a summary and analysis of official compliance measurements done in New Zealand and shows the levels around cell towers are increasing over time.

Current NZ Measurement Maps

Below are the links to two web-maps that show some measurements taken around Auckland in 2023. The two maps contain the same data, the difference is the color codes used to represent each data point.

This map uses the maximum measured RF to represent the cluster: 

This map uses the average measured RF to represent the cluster: 

Data Collection:
The web maps show typical electromagnetic radiation (EMR) power density levels gathered in Auckland. The EMR data was captured with an ‘GQ-EMF-390’ meter. The EMR data logger was positioned at the front of a vehicle behind the windscreen pointing forward, and data was recorded while travelling around Auckland. The GPS was recorded on an Android phone using a GPS-logger app. The EMR and GPS data were joined together by the timestamp.

Data processing:
The raw data was gathered over multiple trips and results in a large number of data points (100,000+ for this map). To reduce this to a more manageable size, the data was post processed to cluster data points that are close together. The points on the map represent the centre of the clusters, and the statistics (Average, maximum, minimum, and number of points for each cluster) are calculated from the individual points that make up each cluster. The resulting map contains about 9,000 points.

Using the map:
Hovering the mouse over a point will reveal the statistics for that data point. In the top right corner of the map is a layer icon that shows the colour codes that correspond to data ranges. The units are mW/m2. Data ranges can be turned on or off from the display by checking the tick boxes. These maps should be ‘mobile’ friendly, however they are much better to view on a laptop/desktop computer.

A disclaimer: The EMF-390 has no calibration certificate.
Online review and back to back tests have shown the EMF-390 produces similar readings to calibrated units such as the gigahertz solutions meters.

The data was also validated by comparing it to Vodafone and Spark official compliance measurements, and the data falls within a similar range.

Historical NZ EMR Measurements

OneNZ (Vodafone) and Spark routinely undergo a field monitoring program to measure the total electromagnetic radiation field strength around its mobile base stations. This data is publicly available though the Ministry of Health website.

Two reports below are a summary and analysis of the data contained within all the compliance measurements undertaken by OneNZ (Vodafone) and Spark:

Spark compliance measurements summary

Vodafone compliance measurements summary

NZ is also part of the WHO electromagnetic monitoring program. The extract below shows what the typical sources of EMR and the emission levels that were present 20 years ago:  

NZ Report for WHO 2004 Extract

Table of Effects by Power Density

To better understand the implications of the measurements, it is useful to compare it with the power density levels that are necessary to cause biological effects. The table of effects below is a summary of scientific literature that has cited a power density level and its effect on biology.  The table is organized in ascending order with the lowest power density (mW/m2) at the top, and increasing as you go down the table (there are several pages). The last page contains the current allowable levels in NZ, as well as suggested levels to minimize the biological harm.

Table of Effects by Power Density

Author Alexei Yachine

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