Apr 28, 2010
As 1999 came to a close, Jonathan Marks was fortunate enough to attend a broadcasting conference in Australia for Radio Netherlands. He grabbed the opportunity to make a short visit to Auckland, New Zealand to examine the amazing radio scene that was emerging at that time in the Pacific. The local members of the NZ Radio DX League did us proud with a very warm welcome right in the middle of the America's Cup yacht race. Our narrative steers a different course as we explore radio history in New Zealand. New Zealand is also home to the great Radio Heritage foundation.
In this programme you'll hear the voice of Media Network's correspondent Bryan Clark who explains his interest in radio was sparked in the mid 60;s by the offshore ship Radio Hauraki which had a major impact on NZ public radio. The station still operates today (2019) and their logo still reflects the nautical past. in 1999 the old Hauraki MW frequency of 1476 was reused for a rather ingenious listener-sponsored relay of the BBC World Service. The sped up the programmes from London slightly so as to be able to insert some local commercials.
Bryan then takes us through a bandscan of the radio dial in Auckland, explaining the background to some of the stations. And no, Radio Tarana has nothing to do with Albania. Barry Hartley recalls his experiences of Radio New Zealand International. Adrian Sainsbury reflects on the current discussion about the future of RNZI and its role in the Pacific.
The travelogue closes with our visit to George FM (easy to find on any web radio) which has one of the most efficient antennas on the planet. They need it, because they only have a few microwatts of transmission power. They have brilliant ideas - and have since become a major force in the Auckland music scene. The programme continued a week later from Sydney.