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Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand
Māori: Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa
Radio New Zealand Logo 2015
Radio New Zealand House
Crown Entity overview
Formed 1995 (1995)
Preceding agencies Radio New Zealand (SOE)
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation
National Broadcasting Service
New Zealand Broadcasting Board
Radio Broadcasting Company
Headquarters Radio New Zealand House, Wellington
Minister responsible Craig Foss, Minister of Broadcasting

Radio New Zealand (Māori: Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa) is a New Zealand public service radio broadcaster and Crown entity formed by the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. It operates news, current affairs and arts network Radio New Zealand National and classical music and jazz network Radio New Zealand Concert with full government funding from New Zealand on Air. Since 2014, the organisation focuses increasingly on its production of digital content in audio, video and written forms.[1]

The organisation plays a central role in New Zealand public broadcasting. Under law, it is responsible for the Radio New Zealand International Pacific shortwave service.[2] It has a statutory role under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 to act as a lifeline utility in emergency situations.[3] The Parliament of New Zealand also fully funds its AM Network, for the broadcast of Parliamentary proceedings.


Early years

Government-funded public service radio in New Zealand was historically provided by the Radio Broadcasting Company between 1925 and 1931, the New Zealand Broadcasting Board between 1931 and 1936, the National Broadcasting Service between 1936 and 1962, the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation between 1962 and 1975, and the Radio New Zealand state owned enterprise between 1975 and 1995.[4] The organisation placed a strong emphasis on training its staff in Received Pronunciation, until it began promoting local and indigenous accents in the 1990s.[5][6]

As part of the process of privatisation carried out by the fourth National government, the government's commercial radio operations were sold to private investors as The Radio Network and the government's non-commercial assets (known previously as New Zealand Public Radio) became the current Radio New Zealand Crown entity.[7][8][9]

Later years

The broadcaster is bound by the Charter and Operating Principles included in the Radio New Zealand Act, which is reviewed by the Parliament of New Zealand every five years and was amended in 2004. The broadcaster is required to provoke debate and critical thought, reflect New Zealand and Māori cultural diversity, cater for varied ages and interests, promote music and drama and create a sense of national identity. It must operate a news service, an international shortwave service and an archiving programme.

It must also produce and commission high quality programming based on research of public needs, and balance mass appeal and minority appeal programming. In achieving these objectives, it must be socially and financially responsible.[10]

Radio services

Radio New Zealand National

Radio New Zealand National, formerly National Radio, is Radio New Zealand's general public service broadcaster. Flagship news and current affairs programmes Morning Report, Midday Report and Checkpoint total thirty hours every week and news updates are broadcast every hour. Its news service has specialist correspondents, reporters and a network of regional correspondents. Magazine programmes include a broad range of contributors, interviews, music pieces and dramas, with reports and regular features in English and Māori. The network provides coverage of science, politics, philosophy, religion, rural affairs, sports and other topics.

Radio New Zealand National broadcasts in AM and FM via mono terrestrial transmitters based around New Zealand and the Optus satellite. It is also available on Sky Digital TV channel 421, Freeview satellite channel 50, and in stereo on Freeview terrestrial channel 50. Radio New Zealand National claims a cumulative audience of 522,000 people, which would make it the most popular station in New Zealand. Its station share of 11% also makes it number one in terms of station share among people 15 and over.[11] Many of Radio New Zealand National’s major programmes were No.1 in their timeslot during 2012[12]

Radio New Zealand Concert

Radio New Zealand Concert is FM radio network broadcasting classical and jazz music and regular news updates. The network was previously known as Concert FM but the name was changed as part of a wider name change within Radio New Zealand to associate Concert FM with the Radio New Zealand brand.

The station broadcasts in FM stereo via terrestrial transmitters located around New Zealand, as well as from the Optus satellite. It is also available on Sky Digital TV channel 502, and on Freeview's satellite and terrestrial services on channel 51. Concert features four full-time continuity presenters (Rick Young, David Morriss, Christine Argyle and Clarissa Dunn) and several part-time and specialist presenters. The playlist is among the most diverse and eclectic of the world's state run classical music networks.

AM Network

The AM Network is a network of radio transmitters operated by Radio New Zealand which broadcast all sittings of the Parliament of New Zealand through a contract with the Parliament. Sitting hours are seasonal, and may be extended due to certain circumstances, but are generally 14:00 to 18:00 Tuesday to Thursday and 19:30 to 22:00 Tuesday and Wednesday.[13] AM Network Parliamentary coverage is also streamed online, with podcasts and transcripts available.

To help fund the operation of the station, Radio New Zealand has leased the remaining hours to Christian broadcaster Rhema Broadcasting Group since 1997, which uses the frequencies to broadcast the low-budget easy listening Southern Star network.[14] The transmitters were previously used by The Concert Programme before it moved to FM broadcasting.[15]

Radio New Zealand International

Radio New Zealand International broadcasts on shortwave and DRM to neighbouring countries in the Pacific from transmitters located at Rangitaiki, near Taupo, in the North Island. There also is a relay via WRN Broadcast and a livestream on the internet.

Other services

Radio New Zealand News

Politics Brent Edwards
Parliament Jane Patterson
Business Jenny Ruth
Economics Patrick O'Meara
Health Karen Brown
Education John Gerritsen
Northland Lois Williams
Auckland Todd Niall
Waikato Andrew McRae
Hawke's Bay Peter Fowler
Nelson Alison Hossain
Otago Ian Telfer
Southland Steve Wilde

Radio New Zealand's news centre is located in Wellington, and additional newsrooms are located in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. There is also a press gallery office in the Beehive, and several international correspondents.

Before 1997, the Radio New Zealand News service provided news to most radio stations in New Zealand.[16][17] As of 2015, its primary output is via the Radio New Zealand website and hourly bulletins carried at various times by the National, International and Concert stations.

The news service is also responsible for most of Radio New Zealand National's schedule, including breakfast programme Morning Report, morning programme Nine to Noon, midday news programme Midday Report and drive programme Checkpoint. Morning Report includes half hourly bulletins, voice reports, interviews and correspondent crosses. There are also scheduled in-depth bulletins of rural, sports, business and Te Manu Korihi Māori news, and news from around the Pacific. Midday Report consists entirely of specialist bulletins, while Checkpoint relies more heavily on reporters, correspondents and international BBC News and ABC News reports.

The Radio New Zealand website,, was launched in October 2005 and includes news coverage, programme information, online station streaming and podcasting. Radio New Zealand National, Radio New Zealand Concert, AM Network Parliament coverage, and Radio New Zealand International are available as Windows Media Audio streams. Almost all Radio New Zealand produced programmes (excepting some with music) are available back to Jan 2008, and have MP3 and Ogg Vorbis and download and podcasts options. However, some material is not available due to insufficient copyright clearances.

The website has been awarded the Qantas Media Award for Best Website Design in 2007, a New Zealand Open Source Award in 2008,[18] and New Zealand Radio Award for Best Radio Website in 2009. The site was re-launched on 26 May 2013 with a new design and a custom CMS built using the open source Ruby On Rails framework.

The Wireless

File:The Wireless logo.png
The Wireless logo

In October 2013, Radio New Zealand launched the youth-focussed non-commercial website The Wireless. The website emerged from the push for a youth radio station as part of Radio New Zealand's offerings. Instead of creating a youth radio station, Radio New Zealand decided to create a website or online magazine that focused on 18- to 30-year-olds which would be more relevant to the demographic.[19] Registration is optional, but is required for posting comments.

Project manager Marcus Stickley noted that: "Radio NZ has had the wisdom to recognize that it didn’t necessarily need to be under the Radio NZ brand. It needed to develop something specifically for that audience, and they’ve given us the freedom, to go away and figure out exactly how to do that."[20] The CEO of Radio New Zealand commented in April 2014 that The Wireless is “the most exciting innovation from RNZ in recent years.”[21][22][23][24]


  1. ^ Radio New Zealand's Paul Thompson on the decline of radio
  2. ^ Mediumwave Broadcasting Proposal PPT and PDF
  3. ^ Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (2002 No 30)
  4. ^ Day, Patrick. Voice and Vision: A History of Broadcasting in New Zealand. Vol. 2. Auckland University Press, 2000.
  5. ^ Bell, Allan. "This Isn't the BBC: Colonialism in New Zealand English1." Applied Linguistics 3.3 (1982): 246-258.
  6. ^ Bell, Allan. "Leaving Home: De-europeanisation in a post-colonial variety of broadcast news language." Standard Languages and Language Standards in a Changing Europe. Oslo, Norway: Novus (2011): 177-198.
  7. ^ Radio New Zealand Act (No 2) 1995 (1995 No 53)
  8. ^ "New Zealand Legislation". Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  9. ^ "New Zealand Legislation". Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  10. ^ Radio New Zealand Act 1995 (1995 No 52)
  11. ^ "Radio New Zealand About Us". 2011-11-28. 
  12. ^ "Radio New Zealand Tops Ratings for 2012". Radio New Zealand. 
  13. ^ "New Zealand Parliament House sitting programme". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  14. ^ "About Southern Star". Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  15. ^ "AM Network". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  16. ^ Hope, Wayne. "New thoughts on the public sphere in Aotearoa New Zealand." Scooped: The politics and power of journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (2012): 27-47.
  17. ^ Norris, Paul, and Margie Comrie. "Changes in radio news 1994-2004." The great New Zealand radio experiment (2005): 175-194.
  18. ^ "Previous Finalists and Winners - 2008 Winners". New Zealand Open Source Awards. New Zealand Open Source Society. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  19. ^ Manhire, Toby (31 October 2013). "The Wireless: youth site a brave step into the net for Radio NZ". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Switching on The Wireless". The Big Idea. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Hurley, Emma (13 April 2014). "Broader casting". Salient. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Home - The Wireless". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Showcase of The Wireless on the NZ On Air website
  24. ^ "About Radio NZ's new "millennial" venture, The Wireless", guest post on Public Address

External links

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