Amateur radio call signs of New Zealand
Amateur radio or ham radio call signs are unique identifiers for the 6,000 licensed operators in New Zealand. Call signs are regulated internationally by the ITU as well as nationally by The Ministry of Economic Development. The latter is responsible for providing policy advice to Government on the allocation of New Zealand's radio spectrum to support, efficient, reliable and responsive wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure.
- 1 Call sign blocks for telecommunication
- 2 Call sign assignments for amateur radio
- 3 History of call sign allocation
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Call sign blocks for telecommunication
|Call sign block|
|E5A - E5Z||New Zealand - Cook Islands|
|ZKA - ZMZ||New Zealand|
While not directly related to call signs, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) further has divided all countries assigned amateur radio prefixes into three regions; New Zealand is located in ITU Region 3. New Zealand is assigned ITU Zone 60.
Call sign assignments for amateur radio
There are 4 possible 2-letter prefixes and 40 2-letter/1-number prefixes available to New Zealand operators based on the ITU blocks (ZK, ZL, ZM and E5). This provides for about 720,000 three-character-suffix call signs and significantly more if numerals comprise either or both of the first two characters of the suffix. A further 18.8 million 4-character call signs are potentially available, as well as considerably more when digits are assigned in the suffix.
Of these prefixes, 1 is currently assigned (ZL) for normal amateur radio operation. ZM has been assigned for special events for a time-limited period, and E5 is being assigned in the Cook Islands.
Although ZL1 to ZL4 were previously issued based on the operator's location within New Zealand, that is no longer the case.
New Zealand is assigned DXCC entity #170. Primary callsign suffixes can be from to four letters in the A-Y, AA-YZ, AAA-YZZ and AAAA-YZZZ blocks. Temporary special event callsigns may have five or six letter suffixes.
|Prefixes||Subseries||Purpose||# issued||DXCC Entity #|
|ZK||1 - 9||Niue and Tokelau||74||#188|
|E5A-E5Z||North Cook Island, used to be ZK1/N||193||#191|
|E5A-E5Z||South Cook Island, used to be ZK1/S||(incl in N. Cook)||#191|
|ZL1||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||New Zealand||2,134||#170|
|ZL2||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||New Zealand||1,887||#170|
|ZL3||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||New Zealand||880||#170|
|ZL4||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||New Zealand||556||#170|
|ZL5||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||Antarctica||1|
|ZL6||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||NZART||13||#170|
|ZL7||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||Chatham Islands||4||#034|
|ZL8||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||Kermadec Islands||2||#133|
|ZL9||A-Y to AAAA-YZZZ||Sub-Antarctic Territories||3||#016|
|ZL||10 - 100||Temporary Commemorative Callsigns||#170|
Use of 'ZM'
The ZM prefix can be substituted for ZL for contests and commemorative events, at the discretion of the licensee.
License holders may apply for up to one secondary single-letter callsign, such as ZL1W. A "stand-down" period of six months applies in regard to the reallocation of temporary callsigns to the same license holder or club. However, the callsign may be reallocated for further 12-month periods without stand-down, provided the license authority receives at the time of the application (which must be made prior to the expiry of the then current 12-month period) evidence to the licensing authority's satisfaction that a temporary callsign is being used on a regular basis.
The E5 prefix for the Cook Islands produces two-numeral callsigns when the separating numeral is attached. The 'E51' prefix is most often used.
Five and six letter callsigns
Temporary callsigns may be issued with a 5th or 6th letter, such as ZL1ABCDEF. Such callsigns may be allocated for up to 12 months, and are typically issued for special events.
Allocation of temporary callsigns in the ZL10 to ZL100 Series
A license holder with a primary or secondary callsign in the ZL1 to ZL9 series may be allocated, as a temporary callsign for a period not exceeding 3 months, a ZL10 to ZL100 prefix to commemorate their anniversary as an active amateur (or the establishment of the club). For example, the holder of ZL1WZZ celebrating 40 years in amateur radio may be allocated, for a 3-month period, the callsign ZL40WZZ. 
History of call sign allocation
In 1924, New Zealand was granted the prefix 'Z', and in 1925 the number of licensed amateur reached 100.
In 1927 the International Telecommunication Union Conference in Washington (D.C., USA) established internally agreed upon call sign prefixes - New Zealand was assigned 'OZ'. In 1929 this was expanded to the ZK-ZM letter block, with New Zealand opting for the ZL prefix for land based stations. 'OZ' by 1927 was reassigned to Denmark.
In 1969 the ZM prefix was allowed to celebrate the Captain James Cook bicentenary. In 1974 the prefix was allowed again to celebrate the Commonwealth Games, as well as in 1989 when the Games returned.
In 1981 the ZLØ prefix was allowed for visitors to New Zealand.
- Amateur radio international operation
- Call signs
- List of New Zealand radio station callsigns
- ITU prefix - amateur and experimental stations
- Amateur radio call signs of Korea
- Amateur radio call signs of Canada
- Amateur radio call signs of Russia
- Amateur radio call signs of Ireland
- Amateur radio call signs of Great Britain
- Amateur radio call signs of Australia
- Amateur radio call signs of Barbados
- Amateur radio call signs of Oceania
- Amateur radio call signs of Antarctica
- Amateur radio callsigns of Mexico
- Amateur radio callsigns of the Middle East
- Amateur radio call signs of Africa
- Amateur radio call signs of Argentina
- Amateur radio license
- Radio Spectrum Management
- International Telecommunication Union country call sign assignments
- PIB 46 Radio Operator Certificate and Callsign Rules EDITION 009
- New Zealand Radio Operator Certificate and Callsign Rules Part B, Section 4
- International Prefixes Starting With Letters