Kiwi FM

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Kiwi FM
Broadcast area 3 Markets in New Zealand
Slogan "We Are New Music"
Frequency 102.2 Akl, 102.1 Wltn, 102.5 Chc
First air date 2005
Format Alternative Music 60% Local & 40% International
Owner MediaWorks New Zealand
Webcast Dialup

Kiwi FM is a New Zealand Radio Network playing 60% New Zealand independent music / 40% international alternative music both nationally and to the world via its 24/7 live stream. The network was designed specifically to showcase the best New Zealand music across the broadest range of genres, enabling greater access to an international market for local, contemporary artists. The station broadcasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on FM frequencies, nationwide on SkyTV Channel 500, and globally through its internet stream. Kiwi FM is operated by Kiwi Radio Ltd, a non-profit subsidiary of MediaWorks New Zealand.


The station Kiwi FM was launched on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2005 and was opened with a speech by then-Prime Minister Helen Clark. It was created to replace alternative station Channel Z which had failed to deliver on its ratings.

The initial station ran for around a year and was rebranded in July 2006 when legendary New Zealand music journalist Karyn Hay stepped in as General Manager with Andrew Fagan as music director. On 1 May 2006, the New Zealand Government granted Kiwi FM access to new FM frequencies, under an agreement that kept the 100 percent Kiwi music station on the airwaves. Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said the station had been granted the use of three FM frequencies for an initial period of one year, during which time it would work towards becoming a not-for-profit organisation. As part of the agreement to use the frequencies, the station's brief was to be to significantly expand its content to include a greater range of New Zealand Music.

Kiwi FM was relaunched under one of the most innovative broadcasting models in New Zealand history - ostensibly a partnership between Government Ministries of Broadcasting and Economic Development, and listed media company Canwest Mediaworks. The new network was designed and implemented in less than three months, launching on 17 July 2006 with a number of respected staff members - including Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison, The Twitch lead vocalist Fleur Jack, former Student radio breakfast hosts Wallace Chapman and Glenn 'Wammo' Williams, actress Danielle Cormack, Blindspott frontman Damian Alexander, The Bads' vocalist Dianne Swann, and former Mockers and Lig frontman (And Kiwi FM Music Director) Andrew Fagan - all under the guidance of network GM Karyn Hay.

In February 2012 Kiwi FM changed their playlist to play 40% international artists while still playing 60% New Zealand artists. The international artists include alternative artists that don't normally get airplay on commercial radio, similar to the New Zealand music already played.


Key programming includes:

Breakfast Monday - Friday 7–10 am Nathan Muller & Ben Hope with news every hour and news updates at 7:30 and 8:30
Days Monday - Friday 10 am – 3 pm Dan
The List Monday - Friday 12-12:30ish pm A list of Kiwi tracks with a common theme with Phoebe Spiers
Afternoon Delight Monday - Friday 3–6 pm Charlotte Ryan with independent, alternative & new music from New Zealand between 3 and 5 and international stuff after 5.
Kiwi Top 20 Monday 6–8 pm with Charlotte Ryan
The Audience Monday 8-9 pm Weekly show produced by
'Beck's Voices From The Wilderness Tuesday 6-7 pm Music and musicians who may not be all over the mainstream, with Hugh Sundae
Wellington/Christchurch/Auckland Calling Tuesday - Thursday 7-8 pm Music show that is focused on music, events and whatever else from each city
Influential Wednesday 6-7 pm with Phoebe Spiers
The Lounge Thursday 6-7 pm Interviews with New Zealand bands/artists, with Charlotte Ryan
High Noon Tea Friday 5-6 pm Kiwi dub, reggae and electronic with Mikee Tucker
Hype Show Friday 6-7 pm New music with Dan
Knights Out Friday & Saturday 10 pm - 12 am Electronic music
The Music Box Sunday 10-2 pm
Songs From The Backyard Sunday 2-3 pm with Rodney Fisher
Resurrection Selection Sunday 3-5 pm Classic alternative music mostly from the 90s.

Most shows go on hiatus during the summer period finishing the week prior to Christmas and returning the first week of February.


Kiwi FM aims to be key figure in furthering New Zealand's international music success. The network has attracted a local and international audience with its playlist. There are more than a dozen specialist shows airing weekly.

Kiwi FM continues to utilise new digital media to archive and catalogue shows of importance to international audiences and has recently been seconded to produce NZ-specific shows for internationally syndicated radio show Passport Approved.[1]

Kiwi FM has led to more airplay for many New Zealand bands and musicians, and its focus on independent labels has allowed the network to enjoy the support of New Zealand's independent music scene.


One year after launching Kiwi FM reported to have around 43,000 listeners across all markets [1] in the April 2006 Research International Survey. Kiwi FM did not participate in the October 2006 survey and the April 2007 survey was cancelled. In the April 2008 survey Kiwi had 20,000 listeners and 0.1% of the market share. [2] As of 20 Feb 2012 Kiwi FM started playing 40% international music and 60% kiwi music to improve its listener base.

Other Kiwi FMs[edit]

In 1988 in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty a local station called 898 FM was renamed to Kiwi FM broadcasting on 89.8 FM. The Kiwi FM station played Hit Music similar to Magic 91FM in Auckland and ZM. In 1993 Kiwi FM was rebranded as The Breeze but this station was completely separate to the current The Breeze station both in the Waikato and even the original The Breeze station in Wellington, a similar station was launched in Auckland replacing Magic 91FM. In 1997 this frequency was taken over by The Radio Network and used to launch ZM into the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

In Te Puke a local station called 92.9 Kiwi FM and then for a short period known as Kiwi 89FM operated. This station was independently owned and operated by Whakatane based station One Double X - 1XX from September 2001 to May 2011.


  • Auckland - 102.2FM
  • Wellington - 102.1FM
  • Christchurch 102.5FM

See also[edit]


External links[edit]