What is electrosenstivity and why is it important to the landline phone issue?

Electrosensitivity (ES) is variously also known as electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS).

People who develop this condition have often been exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields (for example, from smart meters, living close to cellular phone infrastructure, from using cellular phones etc.)

New Zealand does not keep statistics on this condition but in some other developed countries an estimated 3-5% of the population have developed this condition.

People who have developed electrosensitivity develop a variety of unpleasant  symptoms (for example, headaches, nausea, cognitive disturbances, severe fatigue)  in response to exposure to electromagnetic radiation  (EMR) and electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by common devices (for example cellular and cordless phones and their bases, wi-fi routers, computers etc.).

Some of these symptoms can be life threatening – for example cardiac arrhythmias or seizures.

The ambient level of pollution of the environment with microwave radiation in urban areas due to the proliferation of cellular phone towers etc. may mean that some people with this condition are forced to live in remote areas where there is no cellular phone towers.

The condition can lead to loss of employment due to inability to tolerate ambient levels of EMR in the workplace or the EMR from specific devices such as computers or cellular phones.

In someone who is sensitised to EMR symptoms can develop on exposure to electromagnetic fields even if the person concerned is unaware of that a source of  EMR is in their environment. (Here is a an example of a such a case:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-installation-makes-australian-mother-ill/)

As of May 4, 2018, thirty four submissions by New Zealanders on the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill  had been posted on the parliamentary website. The submissions from people with electrosensitivity opposed the clause of the bill that would result in the destruction of most of NZ’s copper landline phone network.  The copper landllne phone system is particularly important for people who are electrosensitive as most people with this this condition can use a copper landline phone (whereas use of a cellular phone can provoke unpleasant, disabling or even potentially life threatening symptoms, depending upon the severity of the condition in a given individual.


More information

If you would like to learn more about this condition, the following link of the site of Stop Smart Meters NZ has more information:


New Facebook group for New Zealanders who are electrosensitive


About Save Our Landlines NZ:

This website is being developed by New Zealanders who want to see the copper landline network in NZ to be retained and protected. If you value having a corded landline phone that will work even if you home (and the area in which you live) loses electricity, you are very welcome to join us.

To get updates on this issue, please follow our Facebook page at the link below:


If you would like to help in any way with the campaign to save NZ’s copper landline network, please email us through the contact form below.