Our role in the international community

New Zealand is part of an international community working on radio spectrum matters. We work alongside other countries to ensure we manage New Zealand's radio spectrum in an efficient and effective way.

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The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

New Zealand is a member state of the ITU, an intergovernmental organisation that sits within the UN. It is a forum used to work through issues facing the information and technology (ICT) industry.

The ITU focuses on 3 main areas:

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

Our Role

We represent New Zealand's interests by:

  • taking part in international study groups
  • attending the world radio conference (WRC), which is run by the ITU. The conference is held every 4 years to review and, if necessary revise the radio regulations. 

Our role is to help review the regulations, and recommend changes and improvements that will help support the spectrum environment in New Zealand.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)(external link)


New Zealand Conference Preparatory Group (NZCPG)

The NZCPG identifies issues of importance to New Zealand, and establishes our position on individual WRC agenda items. This includes:

  • drafting proposals for text changes to the international Radio Regulations (RR)
  • developing the New Zealand delegation brief to WRC.

The group is also responsible for preparing contributions and developing NZ's position (by consensus) in preparations for APT Conference Preparatory Group (APG) meetings.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)

The APT is an intergovernmental organisation for communication and information technology in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to:

  • achieve a coordinated approach to radiocommunications issues across the region, and
  • establish common proposals from a regional perspective to the World Communications Conferences (WRC).

It works alongside:

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

The APT provides 2 places where regional views on radiocommunication matters can be discussed.

  • the APT Conference Preparatory Group. This group develops common proposals from the region for the World Radiocommunication Conference
  • The APT Wireless Group. This is where new information on new wireless technologies is shared and discussed.

Our Role

New Zealand is a member of the APT, and we're active in their radiocommunication programmes. We liaise with other countries - in particular Australia - on radio spectrum matters.

Asia-Pacific Telecommunity(external link)

New Zealand Radio Sector Group

The New Zealand Radio Sector Group (the Radio Sector) is a national forum used to discuss and debate spectrum management issues. This includes proposals for spectrum usage — or change to spectrum usage — initiated by the International Telecommunications Union Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R).

The Radio Sector gets input on these issues from:

  • government Ministries and Departments
  • organisations operating radiocommunications and telecommunication services (including broadcasting)
  • spectrum licences
  • other interested industry stakeholders.

The group meets at regular intervals in either Wellington or Auckland to:

  • share views and information on the development of New Zealand's radio spectrum environment
  • plan and prepare New Zealand's position on World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) matters
  • take part in the work of the ITU-R for effective spectrum management. This includes:
    • sharing criteria and methods for spectrum monitoring, and
    • discussing long-term strategies for spectrum usage that we can apply to international radiocommunications.

Becoming a member/observer

New Zealand residents interested in radiocommunications 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 of these.

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 can't 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 NZ.

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.