Press release from the 5G-Free New Zealand Coalition

7 August 2020

5G-Free New Zealand campaign hopes that the new Minister of Health will not be as inept as David Clark

The 5G-Free New Zealand coalition was relieved by the resignation of David Clark and welcomes the appointment of Chris Hipkins as NZ’s new Minister of Health.

David Clark’s failings in respecting the COVID-19 lockdown that his own government instituted are well known to the public. 

What is not well known is his handling of the 5G issue, which is arguably even more irresponsible.

In early 2019 David Clark dismissed the concerns of 240 scientists who had signed the EMF Appeal against the roll out of 5G.  Clark was quoted as saying that 5G transmitters “do not cause health problems, provided they comply with international guidelines”.  [1]

He apparently based his comments on advice from “Ministry of Health officials” which likely means that he took advice from one or more members of the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields.  However, David Clark omitted to state that the Terms of Reference for the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields specifically allows for people in the telecommunications and electricity industries to be included in its membership. [2] 

David Clark also neglected to mention that Martin Gledhill of EMF Services, a long standing and influential member of the committee, has done work for the telecommunications industry, such as regular cellular phone tower emissions testing [3] and pre-build emissions calculations for new cellular phone towers. 

David Clark also failed to mention the incestuous relationship between the NZ Ministry of Health  and the international private organisation (ICNIRP) that sets recommendations for allowable levels of microwave radiation. The NZ Ministry of Health provides funding to ICNIRP [4] and justifies NZ’s standard for microwave radiation (which are among the most lax in the world) on the basis that it is following the recommendations of this international organisation.

ICNIRP’s recommended maximum levels for microwave radiation are based on the premise that microwave radiation is not harmful unless the field is sufficiently intense as to cause heating of body tissues. 

This premise is false.  There is a large body of scientific evidence that shows adverse biological effects at levels of microwave radiation below the levels recommended by ICNIRP. [5]

In November 2019, international EMF scientist Dr. Dariusz Leszczynski visited NZ on a lecture tour.  Dr. Leszczynski was one of the international panel of scientists convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) who had studied the evidence in relation to the carcinogenicity of microwave radiation in 2011 and gave this form of radiation a Group 2B carcinogen rating. (Research published since 2011 supports the re-classification of this form of radiation as a probable or even proven human carcinogen but IARC has yet to review this new data.)  Dr. Leszczynski advocated for a moratorium on the roll out on 5G because the research base available was insufficient to assure the safety of this new technology. 

David Clark was invited to meet privately with Dr. Leszczynski but refused to meet with him.

Most recently on David Clark’s watch as the Minister of Health, Martin Gledhill of EMF Services was allowed to address Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee as a self-described “technical advisor” to the Ministry of Health.  Mr. Gledhill’s appearance before the committee was in relation to a complaint made by lawyer Sue Grey that NZ’s National Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF) was not consistent with the Resource Management Act. [6]

Martin Gledhill gave oral advice to that committee to the effect that NZ’s NESTF provided adequate protection.  At no time during his presentation did he disclose his conflict of interest to the listening audience and Regulations Review committee members present, nor did he disclose the fact that the NZ Ministry of Health helps to fund ICNIRP, nor that a recent report on ICNIRP revealed that the organisation was a highly compromised organisation. [7]

While David Clark is not the first of New Zealand’s Ministers of Health to have taken advice from the   Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields despite the conflict of interest of some of its members, it is nonetheless a relief that David Clark will no longer be responsible for the Health portfolio given his apparent preference for taking advice from a committee that includes people who have financial relationships with the telecommunications sector rather than independent scientists.

Will the new Minster of Health take a close look at the disastrous state of NZ’s regulation of infrastructure that produces potentially carcinogenic pulsed microwave radiation?

NZ’s lax approach to regulation of this form of radiation is likely contributing to NZ’s shocking cancer death rate – which is the second worst in the world.  We hope that Chris Hipkins will act as a Minister of Health should and prioritise New Zealanders’ health over the financial interests of the telecommunications industry.  A good start would be for Chris Hipkins to institute a moratorium on the deployment of 5G given that this new technology has not been tested for safety – and so many doctors and scientists have warned that 5G is likely to damage people’s health. [8]


Details for spokespeople are on the version of the press release that has been sent to media outlets or if you are from the media but did not receive the press release, please email through the contact form with your name, contact details and name of your organisation so we can put you in touch with a spokesperson.



[2] The Terms of Reference for the Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non Ionising Fields are available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

[3] For example: and


[5] This website gives a useful overview of the science supporting harmful biological effects at levels of microwave radiation below the threshold needed to cause tissue heating:

[6] The video may be viewed at this link:

NB: Independent scientist Dr. Mary Redmayne who attended the committee hearing subsequently provided supplementary information for consideration by the committee and the public version of this may be accessed via the following link:


[8] The 5G Space Appeal ( has been signed by many thousands of people. The following link lists medical doctors who are signatories and this link lists scientists who signed the appeal