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Dear Helen, please listen to the parents - Greens

23 July 2008

Dear Helen, please listen to the parents - Greens

The Government must listen to the concerns of parents worried about the health risks of locating huge telecommunications tower masts next to pre-schools and schools, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

A group of Nelson parents will today present a video letter, entitled Dear Helen Clark, to the Prime Minister, outlining their concerns.

"I hope the Prime Minister will move quickly to allay these parents' fears by prohibiting the location of telecommunications towers next to schools and pre-schools.

"I also hope she will explain why our standard is hundreds of times more permissive than many countries.

"There is growing concern around the world about the health risks of long term exposure to radio frequency fields, especially for children, as well as clusters of health effects in people living near cell phone towers.

"Given this uncertainty, the Government must take a precautionary approach that does not compromise the safety of our children and prohibit the location of telecommunications towers near schools and pre schools."

Ms Kedgley said the issue is timely, and must be addressed urgently, because a nationwide roll-out of cell towers is taking place around New Zealand at present, and New Zealand families are waking up to find 22 metre cell phone towers have been installed next to their homes and schools.

"Just last night a group of concerned New Plymouth parents appealed to their local Council for help in relocating a 22 tower that had suddenly been erected near to their homes and two local schools."

"Astonishingly, these huge towers can be constructed next to schools and homes as of right, without any consultation taking place with affected neighbours, or even any obligation on a telecommunications company to inform residents that a cell tower is about to be erected next door to where they live.

"This is outrageous, when we need a resource consent to change a veranda on our homes. Yet telecommunications companies don't require any consent to build a 22 metre tower in front of our houses," Ms Kedgley says.

The video presentation will take place in the West Foyer at 12.30pm, today (July 23).


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