Exposures to the radio signal
Measurements around several hundred sites in New Zealand show that the maximum exposure to the radio signals around a cellsite is typically less than 1% of (ie more than a hundred times below) the limit set for the public in the New Zealand exposure Standard. In most places, they are lower still. The same applies even if several sites are closer together. Once you are a few tens of metres from the site, the exposure decreases quite quickly as you go further away. If a direct view to the antennas is blocked by trees or buildings, the exposures are also much lower.
Exposures inside a house are much lower than outside, because the roof and walls block a lot of the radio signal.
Exposures near sites that look physically imposing - tall, large diameter towers - are almost always lower than near sites that are physically smaller. the reason for this is that the antennas are further away from where people might be, and that extra distance means the exposures are lower.
How can I find out about a site?
GISGeek (registration required) has an excellent site presenting information about cellsites around the country, drawn from the Radio Spectrum Management licensing database.
Your local authority should receive information about sites in their area - this is required by the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities. Amongst the information they should receive is a report about exposures to the radio signals from the site, and whether they comply with the limits in the New Zealand exposure Standard. If exposures in public areas could exceed 25% of the limit, the site operator is required to provide evidence (usually measurements) confirming compliance with the limits once the site is operating.
You can always get in touch with the company operating the site.
Where can I find more information?
Ministry of Health information about cellsites
Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
American Cancer Society
Last reviewed: 12 October 2023