I have just watched a documentary about the New Zealand offshore station Radio Hauraki. The first time I became aware of the station was a recording on an LP which was issued by Paul Harris
As many anoraks know the excellent Azanorak site has recordings of many offshore archive for download there – if you don’t know the password to unlock their zip files please email email@example.com with the heading Azanorak, because all my email on that account goes into the Junk folder of that email account https://www.azanorak.com/
Wikipedia tells the story:
The concept of Radio Hauraki originated with a group of journalists who felt dissatisfied with New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) radio stations, and with the politics involved with broadcasting in New Zealand. Private stations were able to apply for licences to operate, but the New Zealand Broadcasting Service (NZBS) stonewalled all applications. A small group involving David Gapes, Derek Lowe, Chris Parkinson and Denis O’Callaghan decided, with legal assistance, to start a private venture operating in international waters, outside of the confines of the monopolistic government departments of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, which ran all land-based radio stations, and of the New Zealand Post Office, which managed the radio spectrum. Gapes, Lowe, Parkinson and O’Callaghan eventually broke the radio monopoly, thus allowing private radio to become widespread in New Zealand.
The four men bought a boat and tried to make it seaworthy, however the Marine Department continuously rejected their application for a warrant of fitness for the ship. So in 1966 the crew set sail anyway without the WOF. However the ship got caught on a drawbridge in the Auckland Viaduct and the crew were arrested. When they went to court the judge ruled in favour of them and in late 1966, the Tiri, the boat chosen to carry the transmitter, anchored in the Hauraki Gulf outside the 3-mile territorial-water limit. The station broadcast on the frequency of 1480 kHz – well outside the range of frequencies used by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. After testing the transmitter with a broadcast from pirate announcer Bob Leahy, and having to replace the mast after winds of more than 30 knots knocked it down, Radio Hauraki officially started broadcasting on 4 December 1966.
|Radio Hauraki, Top of The Dial|
|Radio Hauraki: Home of the good guys|
|Here to rock, not to shock|
|Rocking the Boat for 40 years|
|Classic rock that rocks|
|New Zealand’s real rock station|
|Just great rock|
|We Endorse This Music|
|Louder Communities Together|
During the next 2 years, the crew on the Tiri would endure adverse weather conditions, fatigue, and continued efforts to shut down the station. On 28 January 1968 disaster struck as the Tiri attempted to negotiate its way into Whangaparapara Harbour on Great Barrier Island in foul weather. The ship ran aground on rocks, with Radio Hauraki disc jockey Derek King keeping listeners up-to-date with running commentary. The final broadcast from the Tiri was “Hauraki News: Hauraki crew is abandoning ship. This is Paul Lineham aboard the ‘Tiri’. Good Night.” followed by a station jingle. The “Tiri” was later towed back to Auckland and the broadcasting equipment was salvaged. However, the Tiri herself was beyond repair and was replaced four days later by the Kapuni, christened Tiri II by her new crew. A month after the loss of the Tiri, Radio Hauraki was back in international waters and broadcasting again.
In April of the same year Tiri II found herself beached again at Whangaparapara Harbour, a victim of the same storm that resulted in the Wahine disaster. After repairs she was back at sea in five days. Between this time and June 1968, Tiri II would end up beached at Uretiti Beach and caught several times broadcasting from New Zealand waters by radio inspectors. Just before Christmas 1968, Radio Hauraki became New Zealand’s first 24-hour broadcasting radio station. Radio Hauraki was not live radio. The studios were land-based and most programs were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes in 1/2 hour segments approximately one week prior to their broadcast. This meant that while contests, current top tunes, etc. could be accommodated, news and weather were more of a challenge.
Tiri was owned by AG Frankham Ltd and was registered as a barge. After running aground at Whangaparapara on 28 January 1968, it was laid up at Limestone Island near Whangarei. The search and rescue boat Marauder was owned by Bill Gibbs and Tryphena. Kapuni, also owned by AG Frankham Ltd, became known as Tiri II only during Hauraki service from 1968 to 1970. It was laid up on Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
In mid-1970, the state monopoly on radio frequencies was broken, with the New Zealand Broadcasting Authority finally allowing Radio Hauraki to broadcast on land, legally. The Radio Hauraki crew had spent 1,111 days at sea. The final broadcast from the seabound Hauraki Pirates was a documentary on the station’s history until that point, finishing at 10:00 pm when Tiri II turned and headed for Auckland playing “Born Free” continually. During their final voyage back to shore, announcer Rick Grant was lost overboard.
Radio Hauraki began FM transmission in 1990 on 99.0FM, and the 1476 kHz frequency was subsequently acquired by a local community group to broadcast the BBC World Service. During the late nineties Radio Hauraki was networked into other regions around the North Island of New Zealand and in 2003 Radio Hauraki was networked into the South Island in Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Veteran pirate announcer Bob Leahy remained a newsreader for The Radio Network right up until 2009, which saw him remain on-air on Radio Hauraki some 40 years after he helped begin the station.
After several changes in ownership Radio Hauraki is now operated by NZME Radio becoming a radio network broadcasting across New Zealand. Up until 2012 Hauraki played a mix of classic and mainstream rock music from the ’60s til now. In 2013, Hauraki changed its music content playing modern rock and alternative music from the last 25 years, also changed their positioning statement to “It’s Different” to coincide with their change in format. Current hosts include high-profile personalities such as: Matt Heath, Jeremy Wells, Mikey Havoc, Leigh Hart, Jason Hoyte, Steve Simpson and Tim Batt. The station claims its recent changes have resulted in a substantial increase in listeners. A film dramatising Radio Hauraki’s early years, 3 Mile Limit, was released in 2014.
The breakfast 6 am – 10 am slot is hosted by Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells. News, sport and weather scoured from the NZME newsroom is heard every 30 minutes, read out by Ash Thomas and traffic reports are heard every 15 minutes in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Radio Hauraki’s Daytime shows are presented by Georgia (10 am – 2 pm) and Greg Prebble (2 pm – 4 pm). Bhuja (4 pm – 7 pm) is hosted by television personalities Leigh Hart and Jason Hoyte. Nights (weeknights 7 pm – midnight) are presented by Matt Ward.
Previous Radio Hauraki hosts include Len McChesney, Christopher Parkinson, Ross Goodwin, Paddy O’Donnell, Bob Leahy, Mike Parkinson, Gavin Comber, Dave White, Robert Taylor, Thane Kirby ( Duke of Rock) Dave Gray, Ian Johnston, Barry Knight (Simeon), Aaron Ironside, Ian Ferguson, Paul Lineham, Lynnaire Johnston, Rick Grant, Colin Broadley, Carl Olsen, Keith Ashton, Andy Faulkner, Michael Gammon,Trudy Rana, Phil Gifford, John Hawkesby, Ian Magan, Leah Panapa, Brian Strong, Peter Telling, Dean Lonergan, Fred Botica, Mark Perry, Dean Butler, Willy De Witt, Dean Young, Mel Homer, Nick Trott, Nik Brown, Mark Woods, Mike Currie, Martin Devlin and Laura McGoldrick.
Phillip Schofield was a host Radio Hauraki in 1983, a year after becoming the host of youth music programme Shazam! in 1982. He left the station in 1985 to return to Britain and become one of Britain’s most well-known television personalities. During almost 30 years as a BBC and ITV presenter, Schofield has been the first continuity announcer for Children’s BBC and the host of Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, Dancing on Ice, All Star Mr & Mrs, The Cube and, most recently, This Morning.
Former breakfast host Kevin Black became New Zealand’s highest-paid radio DJ, and served as breakfast host for Solid Gold between 1997 and 2009 before his death in 2013.
North Island frequencies
|01. Northland||Kaitaia||FM 93.2 MHz|
|02. Northland||Bay of Islands||FM 93.2 MHz|
|03. Northland||Whangarei||FM 93.2 MHz|
|04. Auckland||Auckland||FM 99.0 MHz|
|05. Waikato||Hamilton||FM 96.2 MHz|
|06. Bay of Plenty||Tauranga||FM 91.0 MHz|
|07. Rotorua||Rotorua||FM 87.6 MHz|
|08. Gisborne||Gisborne||FM 105.3 MHz|
|09. Taupo||Taupo||FM 92.8 MHz|
|10. Taranaki||New Plymouth||FM 90.8 MHz|
|11. Hawke’s Bay||Napier||AM 1584 kHz|
|12. Wanganui||Wanganui||FM 87.6 MHz|
|13. Manawatu||Palmerston North||FM 87.6 MHz|
|14. Wellington||Wellington||FM 93.3 MHz|
South Island frequencies
|01. Nelson||Nelson||FM 90.4 MHz|
|02. Marlborough||Blenheim||FM 94.5 MHz|
|03. West Coast||Greymouth||FM 105.1 MHz|
|04. Canterbury||Christchurch||FM 106.5 MHz|
|05. Canterbury||Sumner||FM 89.3 MHz|
|06. Otago||Dunedin||FM 106.2 MHz|
|07. Otago||Dunedin||AM 1125 kHz|
|08. Southland||Invercargill||FM 93.2 MHz|
- Monks, John, 2007 Radio Hauraki: The Pirate Years: 1966 to 1970
- “Radio Hauraki”. Offshore Radio Museum. Offshore Radio Museum. 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-09.
Management[:] David Gapes, […] Wendy Gapes, Derek Lowe, Chris Parkinson, Denis O’Callaghan (Technical)
- “Radio Network number one nationwide in talk, music and sport”. 4 April 2013.
- 3 Mile Limit on IMDb
- “Shazam! series”. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- “Phillip’s Biography Page”. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- “Radio legend Kevin Black dies”. NZ Herald. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
“Broadcaster Kevin Black dies”. TVNZ. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.