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New Zealand - Radio

Radio New Zealand is the main radio station throughout the country. It broadcasts around the clock and most of the nation listens to it. There are a wide variety of programmes broadcast on the station including regular news and weather forecasts, current affairs programmes, documentaries, drama productions, music programmes and other features. It is a policy of the station that a third of the music that it broadcasts must originate from New Zealand. Talk programmes are particularly popular. The drama productions tend to focus on locally produced theatre and works of literature. In addition the station broadcasts a number of programmes in Maori, and the station website is bilingual.

Alongside the main Radio New Zealand station there is the Radio New Zealand Concert station. This is a music station which focuses on different genres of music such as classical, world music, jazz and contemporary. Again, the station is designed to promote music which is written and produced within New Zealand. There are live broadcasts of concerts which have been staged within New Zealand and which feature local artists and artists from other countries. It is the policy for some radio stations to feature New Zealand artists strongly in order to promote local music and talent.

There are a number of listening options for Radio New Zealand. The station broadcasts on AM and FM frequencies, online on the internet, makes podcasts available for download, via digital broadcasting and on shortwave.

In addition to this main station there are many others which broadcast both nationally and locally. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate Radio Sport or LiveSport, for example, while others such as Easy Mix, Solid Gold and The Rock focus on music. Some stations broadcast nationally but have individual local programmes. These include More FM, The Breeze and Classic Hits FM.

Stations such as Atiawa Toa and Awa are dedicated to Maori music and current affairs programmes while Base FM is for those who enjoy dance music. The Breeze is considered to be easy listening and therefore suitable for most age groups. Classic Hits is aimed at adults and bases its playlist around contemporary music. Coast FM is another station which has local bases in different areas and is aimed at those who enjoy classic hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Cool Blue FM is a jazz station while Country Radio is for country music fans. The Edge is based around the top 40 hits and the Flea is a community radio station in the Auckland area. George has three stations, FM which is focused on dance music, Jazz for fans of that genre and Classic Dance for dance fans. Kiwi FM is based on New Zealand music and KFM is based on soul and jazz. Life FM is a Christian rock sation and More FM is a station with many local bases which specialises in contemporary music. Newstalk is a group of locally based stations which offer talk and news programmes. Solid Gold has a playlist based on classics from the 50s, 60s and 70s while Soul FM is a New Age station.

These are just a small selection of the radio stations which are available to listeners so no matter what your tastes you will be able to find a station in New Zealand to suit you. Local stations are very popular in New Zealand and in some areas there are dedicated student stations.

Most of these stations broadcast in analogue format as well as streaming programmes live over the internet. Digital radio trials are underway in New Zealand but there are no definite dates for switching off analogue signals, so analogue will be in place for a few years yet. If you have a DAB digital radio it is a good idea to check in advance if digital is being tested in the area that you are moving to.

There are also several radio stations which broadcast in languages other than English and Maori. Chinese Voice operates Chinese language stations in New Zealand and currently has three stations. Radio Austral is a Spanish language station which broadcasts around the clock. There is no dedicated French language station, although Planet FM, Plains FM and Wellington Access Radio have a number of programmes for French listeners. Apna 990 FM is a round the clock Hindi station for Indian listeners.

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