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After a 3 year review the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities 2016 (NESTF 2016) came into effect on 1 January 2017, replacing the existing NESTF 2008.

NESTF 2016 provides greater national consistency and more comprehensive range of opportunities and standards for the deployment of upgraded and new telecommunications facilities across New Zealand. One of the objectives is:

To enable efficient and effective roll out of telecommunication infrastructure throughout the whole of New Zealand, e.g. UFB 2 and RBI 2.


The scope of the NESTF 2016 is much wider than the NESTF 2008 framework by expanding the opportunities to include new facilities in rural zones and the road reserve; new antennas on buildings; small cell on structures and the upgrading of existing telecommunication facilities as permitted activities but subject to standards to ensure environmental effects are minimised and managed appropriately.

The situations when District Plans can have more stringent standards over the NESTF 2016 has been expanded, for example visual amenity landscape; Significant habitats for indigenous vegetation and fauna.

Radio frequency exposure standards have not been changed but now recognise the AS/NZS 2772.2 as the radio-frequency measurement standard.

The NESTF 2016 does not regulate all types of telecommunication facilities, e.g. new facilities in urban areas, therefore District Plans will continue to have objectives, policies and standards for the provision of telecommunication facilities.

For more information on the NESTF 2016 visit the Ministry for the Environment website: NESTF 2016

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Last Modified On Tuesday, 21 March 2017