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Christchurch City Council Media Release 6 July 2001

Council Develops New Option For Mobile Phone Sites

The interests of Christchurch residents are being recognised through a new City Council process that allows telecommunications companies to locate mobile phone sites on Council owned land.

Chairman of Christchurch City Council's new Cell Sites Sub-committee, Cr Charles Manning said: "The Council had worked hard with the companies to come up with a way to address public issues, while catering for the needs of the city's 180,000 mobile phone users."

"Through the Council's efforts to expand the options for locating mobile phone sites, telecommunications companies have more flexibility to place their facilities in areas that will have the least impact on people. In some cases using Council owned land will be a better option for a community than using privately owned land near residents. Each case will be judged on its merits," Cr Manning said.

Central to the agreement is a process that ensures full public consultation. Therefore, the telecommunications companies will request that all Resource Consent applications under this process will be publicly notified. Vodafone New Zealand and Telecom New Zealand expect to lodge applications with the Council within the next month. Under the new process, nearby residents will be advised by the Council of plans for proposed sites prior to the official public notification.

"The Council recognises there is a growing need for more mobile phone sites", Cr Manning said. "Now more than one in two Christchurch residents use mobile phones and the number is continuing to grow quickly. Because the mobile phone sites are low-powered they need to be located in the areas people use their phones."

Vodafone and Telecom congratulated the Christchurch City Council for its foresight in being the first local authority to develop a formal process for the location of mobile phone sites on council-owned property and for recognising the benefits of providing more placement options.

"We are grateful for the Council's leadership on this and commend it for developing a solution that provides both flexibility and certainty for everyone involved, while protecting residents' interests," said Vodafone Director of Engineering Mr Arthur Neely.

Telecom General Manager Mobility Ms Lorraine Witten said: "Our objective is to provide a high-quality mobile communications service, necessary for the knowledge economy in which Christchurch has been such a leading force, while preserving the city's character."

The mobile phone site selection process will be managed by the Council's new Telecommunications Liaison Office, assisted by its Property Unit and overseen by the Cell Sites Sub-committee.

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For more information about mobile phone sites, please call:

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