Diversity on the airwaves

Access and Pacific radio stations provide programmes by, for and about our diverse communities.

From small beginnings

When NZ On Air was created in 1989 there were just four community Access radio stations in operation – Wellington Access Radio, Plains FM (Canterbury), Auckland Access Radio, and Wairarapa Access Radio. In addition Print Disabled Radio broadcast out of Levin.

Today 12 Access radio stations and two Pacific radio networks broadcast programmes in more than 40 languages.

Open access airwaves

Indian musicians make music live on one of Planet FM’s 28 Indian language programmes.

Access radio provides a place for information, support, entertainment and generally for communities to come together.

Programmes are made by volunteer groups from the community they serve. They cover a huge range of diverse topics such as:

  • Music genres not usually played on mainstream stations 
  • Local arts scene
  • Gardening
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Living with disabilities
  • Health
  • Conservation
  • Teenage issues
  • Women's issues
  • Men's issues
  • Book writing
  • Legal and consumer advice
  • Sexuality
  • Motoring
  • Children's programmes

The list is endless and is continually growing.

To infinity and beyond

Technology changes now mean radio is not just on the airwaves. You can listen to podcasts of your favourite shows anytime that suits.

AIR - Access Internet Radio, funded by NZ On Air, is a platform through which Access stations share content. It means that an excellent programme made by a group in one part of the country can get a much larger audience by being broadcast through another station.

It also means minority groups are better served with more choice of programmes.

Find your local station

Pacific radio

NZ On Air’s funding for Pacific Radio supports music with a blend of Pacific flavours as well as informed talk in English and nine Pacific languages.

These stations provide a way of keeping languages alive, and discussing topics that might not be covered from a Pacific people’s perspective in any other media.

Niu FM throughout the country, 531pi in Auckland and Samoa Capital Radio in Wellington are the three Pacific radio broadcasters we fund to provide programmes specifically for the Pacific audiences in New Zealand.

Samoa Capital Radio

Next Article: Embracing the digital era

Technology is changing the way audiences consume and interact with media. Since 2007 NZ On Air has been supporting innovative projects for online audiences.