Our role in the international community

New Zealand is part of, and has ongoing international engagement with, an international community working on radio spectrum matters. We work alongside other countries and international forums to ensure that we make the best radio frequency spectrum decisions to achieve efficient and effective management of New Zealand's radio spectrum.

On this page

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

New Zealand is a member state of the ITU, the United Nations Specialised Agency for Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). It allocates radio spectrum and satellite orbits globally, it develops technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and it strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.

The ITU focuses on 3 main areas:

  1. The radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R), which manages the international framework on the use of radio-frequency spectrum and on satellite orbit resources.
  2. The Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), which coordinates standards-making for telecommunication services.
  3. The Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D), which helps developing countries progress with ICTs by supporting them to establish:
    • policies
    • regulations
    • training programs
    • financial strategies.

Our role

We represent New Zealand's interests by:

  • taking part and contributing to international working parties and study groups
  • participating in the ITU World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC). The conference is held every 4 years to review and revise the ITU Radio Regulations. 

Our role is to:

  • engage in the review of the Regulations
  • advocate for improvements that will help support the radio spectrum environment in New Zealand.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)(external link)

Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)

New Zealand is a member of the APT, which is an intergovernmental organisation for information and communications technology (ICT) in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to:

  • achieve a coordinated approach to radiocommunications issues across the region
  • consolidate regional voices in international forums such as Conferences of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), including the World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRC)
  • establish common proposals to the WRC from a regional perspective.

It works alongside:

  • telecommunication service providers
  • manufacturers of communications equipment
  • research and development organisations.

The APT provides 2 forums where regional views on radiocommunication matters can be discussed:

  • APT Conference Preparatory Group for WRC (APG) — discusses and develops common proposals from the region for the WRC.
  • APT Wireless Group (AWG)  facilitates the promotion, introduction and development of new radiocommunication technologies in the Asia-Pacific region and proposes cost effective implementation solutions which are shared, analysed and discussed.

Our role

New Zealand is an active member of the APT and we contribute to its radiocommunication programmes. We liaise with other countries on radio spectrum matters, particularly Australia.

Asia-Pacific Telecommunity(external link)

Radio Sector Group (RSG)

The Radio Sector Group (RSG) is a national forum used to discuss, debate and seek input from stakeholders on spectrum management issues.

The Radio Sector gets input on these issues from:

  • Government ministries and departments
  • organisations operating telecommunication services (including broadcasting)
  • spectrum licensees
  • other interested industry stakeholders.

The group meets at regular intervals, either online or in-person, in Wellington to:

  • share views and information on the development of New Zealand's radio spectrum environment
  • discuss the work of the ITU-R and the APT with the aim of effective spectrum management. This includes:
    • sharing criteria and methods for spectrum monitoring
    • long-term strategies for spectrum usage that we can apply to our international radiocommunications work.

New Zealand International Meeting Preparatory Group (IMPG)

The IMPG identifies issues of national importance. It develops our positions for international meetings, particularly for the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) agenda items. This includes:

  • developing and discussing the New Zealand positions on issues for international meetings including the WRC, the CPM and the APG
  • developing and discussing input contributions to international meetings
  • discussing details on proposals for text changes to the ITU Radio Regulations (RR).

Becoming a member/observer of the RSG

New Zealand residents with a direct interest in radio spectrum usage in New Zealand can become a member of the Radio Sector group. If you're not a resident, you can apply to be an observer at meetings instead. We treat applications on a case-by-case basis.

Get in touch with us if you're interested in becoming either a member or an observer.

Contact us

International performance standards arrangements

Most countries, including New Zealand, have performance standards for electrical and electronic equipment. The standards exist to protect the radio spectrum from interference.

Manufacturers must test and certify that their products meet a country's performance standards. If they don't, the products cannot be imported or sold in that country.

New Zealand has made arrangements with other countries to make it possible for:

  • local manufacturers to test their products here, and have the results accepted overseas
  • assessment reports by international manufacturers to be recognised and accepted in New Zealand.

We have performance standard arrangements with:

  • member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • the People's Republic of China.

We also take part in developing and updating international performance standards. This ensures that the standards we adopt are appropriate for New Zealand's spectrum environment.