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Clear message . . . 5G Free Waitaki members (from left) , Amanda Dennis, Gail May-Sherman, Jude McGee, Sara Martin, Rick Loos, Teenica Harrix, Murray MacKay, Angelique Healey and Blair Nathan protest the planned 5G rollouts. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

A local anti-5G group is seeking a moratorium on the installation of the latest technology until it is proved to be safe.

The group 5G Free Waitaki has formed to protest the expansion of the cellular network.

Not being able to “opt out” of exposure is at the heart of the group’s argument against 5G coming to the Waitaki district.

“With other technology, you can make a decision about your exposure – you can turn off the Wi-Fi at night,” 5G Free Waitaki member Rick Loos said.

“We are not anti-technology, we are pro-safety, and we want a moratorium until it is proved safe in the long term.

“If they haven’t done that, it is unethical to roll it out.”

Mr Loos said there was no need for 5G technology, and the existing fibre optic cables provided fast enough internet.

“No-one is complaining about slow internet, not even the teenagers.”

Gail May-Sherman, another local campaigner, said 5G was “solving a problem we don’t have”.

It had the potential to be an ecological and biological “catastrophe”, she said.

“How important is it to have cars that talk to each other if we don’t have pollinators?”

The group is liaising with other anti-5G groups around the country to form a petition to be presented to the Government.

Mrs May-Sherman said she was as concerned about 5G as she was about climate change. Unlike climate change, 5G could be stopped, she said.

Last month, Spark launched New Zealand’s first 5G commercial service in Westport, Clyde, Twizel, Tekapo and Hokitika.

According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, New Zealand is the 27th country in the world to offer a commercial 5G service.

The Ministry of Health says exposures to high-intensity radio signals at any frequency can cause harmful effects, which is why the New Zealand exposure standard limits public exposures to levels at least 50 times below those at which harm might occur.

The 5G Free Waitaki group is hosting a summer solstice celebration of Waitaki still being free of 5G technology at 2pm on December 21 at the Waitaki Community Gardens.

Anyone who wants to know more about the group can email 5gfreewaitaki@gmail.com.

What is 5G?

  • 5G is an advanced wireless technology.
  • It is the fifth generation of mobile broadband.
  • It is set to be faster and more responsive than previous generations.