Managing interference to electrical and electronic products

Interference is caused by unwanted radio signals that degrade or interrupt radiocommunication and broadcasting services. It can affect the quality of your reception or communication, cause a temporary loss of signal, or even prevent reception.

Services that can be affected

Services that can be affected by interference include frequencies internationally allocated for safety communications, commercial radio services and radio and television services.

Safety communication frequencies

Interference may be caused to frequencies internationally allocated for safety communications. Organisations that may be affected include the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Maritime Operations Centre, Police, Ministry of Civil Defence, and NZ Coastguard Federation.

Commercial radio services

Interference to commercial radio services often involves economic impact on business, with all parties seeking an early and cost-effective solution. As these are often complex problems, they should be referred to us — after maintenance checks have been conducted to eliminate equipment faults.

See Interference to commercial radio services for more information.

Radio and television reception

Interference problems at home usually affect radio or television reception. If a problem is identified as interference, we will investigate.

See Television interference or Radio interference for more information.

Note: Disturbances to CD and DVD players (and other audio equipment) caused by nearby radio transmitters are not regarded as interference, as they result from design or component problems in the audio equipment.

What we can do

We investigate interference to safety services, radiocommunications systems and broadcast services such as radio and television reception. The more information you are able to record and pass on to us, the sooner we will be able to investigate and hopefully resolve the issue.

We don't investigate interference to:

  • general user licences (radio or spectrum), or
  • private Management Rights (that is, bands of radio spectrum under a self-management agreement).

However, we will assist — on a case-by-case basis — if there's a risk to safety of life or property or a product compliance issue.

If interference source is traced

If an interference source is traced, the party responsible will be required to correct the matter. If the interference is determined as resulting from non-compliance with Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) legislation, or from illegal transmission, we may issue infringement notices or take other legal action.

Note: Protection from changes that may occur in the radio environment is not given to weak or distant signals that have previously been receivable by good fortune.

Band expanders in Japanese imports

If you're using a band expander to enable your Japanese car radio to receive New Zealand FM broadcasts, you may be experiencing degraded reception and/or causing interference for others.

See Band expanders in imported vehicles for more information.


The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) doesn't accept liability under any circumstances for any loss or damage of any kind occasioned by the unavailability of frequencies or interference to reception.