Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 42, September 1998

By Gordon Mathieson

A previous article on this subject was published in Journal 35 (1991) [see Journal 35: Radio Broadcasting in the Thames Valley - E]. Since then many changes have occurred with radio and television broadcasting, brought about by the last Labour Government's deregulation of this medium in April 1990.

The previous article included a table of Auckland and Hamilton stations that had operated over the years. Included here is an up to date list to compare with the earlier one on page 26 of the 1991 Journal.

For Auckland that year, listed were 17 stations - now, in 1998 there are 30, as follows:-

(15 A.M. stations) - 531 PI (531); Yes AM (603); Pacific (702); 1YA National Radio (756); Access Radio (810); YC -AM Network (882); Counties-Manukau Radio (936); Chinese Radio (990); Newstalk ZB (1080); Radio Ruia Mai (1179); Rhema (1251); Sports Network (1332); Radio Tirane (Hindi language) (1386); BBC (1476); Southern Star (1593).

(15 F.M stations.) - Mai FM (88.6); Newstalk ZB (89.4); Pacific (90.2); 91ZM (91.0); More FM (91.8); Concert FM (92.6); Solid- Gold FM (93.4); Channel Z (94.2); BFM (95.0); Counties Manukau Radio (95.8); Ninetysixdotone (96.1); Soul FM (96.8); Classic Hits 97FM (97.4); i98FM (98.2); Hauraki (99.0); Life (99.8).

Hamilton radio stations, 1998

(7 A.M. stations) - Southern Star (576); Sports Network (792); Rhema (855); Pacific (954); 1YW National (1143); Community Radio (1206); Newstalk ZB (1296).

(11 F.M. stations) Contact (89.0); 89.8ZM (89.8); Concert FM (91.4); The Rock (93.0); Solid Gold FM (93.8); Life FM (94.6); Tainui FM (95.4); i97 FM ( 97.0) The Edge (97.8); Classic Hits ZHFM (98.6); Y99 (99.3).

As can be seen, the number of stations has mushroomed. I now add another centre for comparison.

Tauranga 1998

(5 A.M. stations) - Rhema (540); 1YZ National (819); Newstalk ZB (118); Tauranga-O-Moana (1440); Good Time Oldies (1521).

(8 F.M. stations) Solid Gold FM (92.5); Sports Network (91.0); Coastline F.M. (93.4); The Rock (94.2); Classic Hits 95BOPFM (95.0); Pacific (96.1); Triple-X (99.0); The Edge (99.8).

NOTE : The tall transmitter at Paengaroa, 10km east of Te Puke and 38 km from Tauranga, 46 km north of Rotorua and 58 km west of Whakatane, is so located to effectively cover the greater Bay of Plenty, literally from Cape Colville at the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula to East Cape. This mast was erected in 1955 for Station 1YZ 800kHz, later 860 with studios in Rotorua. In 1961, Station 1ZD, with studios in Tauranga was added (on 1000 kHz). Our family lived in Paengaroa during 1964-65, within the shadow of this 250 metre high mast, which is visible from all parts of the central Bay of Plenty.

1ZD, in 1980 became known as Radio B.O.P., and is now 95BOPFM, its old AM frequency now carrying Newstalk ZB, as shown earlier.

1XT (1368) was a part-time station broadcasting from the Tauranga Historic Village on 17th Avenue West, since 1985, but now appears to be inactive.


Since December 1991, the Thames-based Coromandel FM has been broadcasting permanently with numerous transmitters to cover the rugged peninsular, including Thames (96.2); Coromandel (89.1); Whitianga (90.6); Tairua (94.1); Whangamata (89.1) and Paeroa (89.0).

In addition, there are two other Whitianga stations - Mercury FM (96.6) and Classic Rock Beach FM (97.5). In Whangamata there is Classic Rock Oldies on 98.0 FM and in Waihi there is Waihi Community Radio 1107 AM and The Rhythm (89.2 FM) at Waihi Beach. Of course, during the summer holidays, other temporary stations appear at the beach resorts. Just announced, is another station for Whangamata - on 90.3 FM, owned by Mr Ron Slater, who operates picture theatres in Whangamata, Waihi Beach and Thames. He was the last operator of Paeroa's Regent Theatre until it closed in 1976, now the home of Nga Iwi FM.


Mt. Te Aroha is one of the best transmitting sites in NZ, carrying TV1, TV2, the Sky Channels, Coast to Coast TV - when it was on air 1994-97, followed by MTV (Music Television) which too has just left the air. The following FM radio stations use the site as well - 89.8ZM, Concert FM 91.4, Life FM 94.6, Tainui FM 95.4 and ZHFM 98.6.

Because of its height, 952 metres, stations can be heard from lower Northland to East Cape to Taupo and north Taranaki. At one stage, Nga Iwi FM was to use Mt Te Aroha, but this was not proceeded with.


Opened on 9 March 1991, this station has adopted an up to date computer programme, which is becoming the norm for stations of today. Two transmitters are in use - the main one is on Rataroa Hill near Maramarua, visible from S.H. 2 (On 92.2 MHz) and the local one atop the studio in Paeroa (99.5), in the former Regent Theatre. While about 50% of the programme is in the Maori language - as specified in its original contract - there are several special interest programmes, currently on Mondays 8 pm to 10 pm the rock show, Tuesdays 8 pm to 10 pm Nostalgia and oldies, Wednesdays 7 30 pm to 10 pm Country and Western, Thursdays 8 pm to 10 pm Reggae and Fridays, the junior request show.

Of special interest to readers, the Tuesday night programme is hosted by yours truly - specialising in oldies and classic hits - the music that brings back memories.

Also worth a listen is the Wednesday night Country and Western show, 7 30pm - 10 pm, hosted by "Wild" Bill Wells, of Karangahake. Bill specialises in old time country that's hardly ever heard any-more. He has been a recording artist as well. His first recordings being made in 1942.


There is a weekly programme for you!

Want to relive those sounds of yesterday?

- The songs you haven't heard in years?

- The music that nobody else plays?

- Think you're forgotten?

Not any more!

Just tune in to Paeroa's own Nga Iwi FM

92.2 or 99.5 FM

every Tuesday evening 8 pm to 10 pm

and catch the sounds of another time

Anything and everything from the 20s to the 90s

Guaranteed to raise a memory or more.