The Government has announced the new National Environmental Standard (NES) for Telecommunications Facilities, under the Resource Management Act 1991.
The new NES - the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities) Regulations 2016 - comes into force on 1 January 2017. It replaces the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities) Regulations 2008, which are revoked.
The regulations prescribe standards for installing and operating antennas, cabinets, small cell units, and telecommunication lines in specified circumstances (regulated activities).
Environment Minister Nick Smith says the new NES means that from 1 January 2017 network operators will no longer have to apply for resource consent from local authorities to install frequently deployed infrastructure such as small cell units, street cabinets, light pole antennas and cabling that meets the national standard.
He says the new NES will make it easier and cheaper to install the infrastructure consumers need to access broadband under the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband Programme, Rural Broadband Initiative and 4G network deployment.
It does not change the radio frequency exposure standards. All new telecommunications infrastructure will continue to need to comply with current standards referenced in the NES, and which are based on international best practice, Dr Smith says.