Radio New Zealand National

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Radio New Zealand National
Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa National
RNZN logo.png
Broadcast area New ZealandNew Zealand
First air date 1925
Format Varied
Owner Radio New Zealand
Webcast RNZ National stream

Radio New Zealand National (Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa National), known as National Radio until 2007, is a publicly funded non-commercial New Zealand English-language radio network operated by Radio New Zealand. It specialises in programmes dedicated to news, the arts, music, and New Zealand culture generally, including some material in the Māori language. Historically the programme was broadcast on the (AM) "YA" stations 1YA, 2YA, 3YA and 4YA in the main centres.

In 2013, Radio New Zealand National had a 10.3 per cent market share, the highest nationwide and up from 9.1 per cent in 2009. Market share peaked at 11.1 per cent in 2011, probably due to Christchurch earthquake coverage. 493,000 people listen to Radio New Zealand National over the course of a week – the second-largest cumulative audience. .[1]


National's weekday output between 06:00 and midnight is characterized by the alternation of three extended news and current-affairs sequences, running for between one and three hours each, with three varied-content magazine-style programmes, each of which lasts for three to five hours. News updates are read live-to-air every hour, and by a continuity announcer outside these times. Polling by Radio New Zealand suggests Morning Report, Nine to Noon, The Panel, Checkpoint, Nights, Saturday Morning and Sunday Morning have larger audiences than any other programme in their timeslot.[2]

Morning Report[edit]

Morning Report (Te Pūrongo o te Ata) is Radio New Zealand National's long-running flagship breakfast programme. It has aired in the 06:00 to 09:00 weekday timeslot consistently since its premiere in April 1975, and has broadcast longer programmes following major events like the September 11 attacks. The programme consists of half-hourly news and weather updates, quarter-hourly headlines, interviews, voice reports and specialist bulletins. It has an estimated 349,000 listeners.[3] The programme broadcasts for eleven months of every year; Summer Report airs with a similar format during late December and early January.

Sports, Pacific, rural and Māori news bulletin air in the programme's further half hour. Local newspaper headlines, traffic updates and business news air after 6.30, and more traffic updates and newspaper headlines air after 7.30. Additional business and Māori news air the programme's final hour. Co-hosts Guyon Espiner and Susie Fergusson interview news-makers, correspondents and reporters, and introduce voice reports from local staff, the BBC, the ABC and other international affiliates.[4] The station's famous "bird calls" of distinctive native New Zealand birds end the show at 09.00.

Nine to Noon[edit]

Nine to Noon is a three-hour programme of interviews with newsmakers, reviewers, writers, artists, comedians, correspondents, experts, commentators and others. The programme is currently hosted by Kathryn Ryan. The first hour of the programme features three long-form current affairs interviews, music and a foreign correspondent. The second hour includes a feature-length interview, a freelance book reviewer and a book reading. Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Green Party MP Sue Bradford announced their resignation on the programme. The final hour includes a panel discussion, topical expert and a reviewer. Regular contributors include John Hawkesby, Nigel Latta, Joseph Ramanos, Rod Oram, Simon Wilson, Te Radar amd Michele A'Court.[5]

Since January 2009, Nine to Noon has been replaced for a one-month Christmas and summer break by Summer Noelle (10:00 - 12:00 summer weekdays), a similar format magazine programme presented by Noelle McCarthy up until 2011; but from 2011 she was replaced by fill-in host Lynn Freeman and new co-host Sonja Sly. The programme includes interviews with newsmakers, reviewers, scientists, celebrity commentators, artists and actors, live in-studio performances by bands and artists, and musical selections. The timeslot previously featured The Best of Nine to Noon.


Radio New Zealand's Midday Report is an hour-long series of bulletins. It includes a six-minute general news bulletin, nine-minute further news bulletin, two-minute long-range weather forecast, ten-minute business bulletin, three-minute sports bulletin, eight-minute rural bulletin and sixteen-minute world news bulletin. Local voice reports and reports from BBC, ABC and other international affiliates feature heavily. On public holidays and summer holidays, a half-hour programme includes news, weather and world news.

National's magazine-style afternoon programme is hosted by Simon Mercep. Previous and substitute hosts have included Jim Mora, Noelle McCarthy, Finlay MacDonald, Paul Brennan and Chris Whitta. It is broadcast from Radio New Zealand's Auckland studios, and includes features like The Best Song Ever Written, Reeling in the Years, Your Call New Zealand, science interviews and a live performance segment called New Zealand Live.[6][7]

On public holidays and over the one-month Christmas and summer break, Kelle Howson, Phil O'Brien and Simon Morris present music variety programme Matinee Idle in the afternoon slot. It includes a large component of audience comments and recommendations, as well as a daily theme hour.[8] In Touch with New Zealand with Wayne Mowat previously aired in the afternoon slot, and continues in the form of Wayne's Music World on weekend evenings.[9]


Jim Mora presents a drive-time news panel show from 3.45 weekday afternoons. After this, he and Mary Wilson present Radio New Zealand National's flagship drive time news programme, Checkpoint. It includes live interviews with newsmakers and correspondents on national and international news stories, as well as half-hourly news and weather updates and daily specialist segments. First broadcast in 1967, the programme is the longest-running news broadcast on radio or television in New Zealand. The programme includes six-minute news bulletins on the hour and six minute news and sports bulletins on the half hour. The first hour has a greater emphasis on domestic issues, the second hour has more of an international focus and the programme overall pays particular attention to political issues that have arisen during the day.[10] World news reports and special pre-recorded programming replaces Checkpoint on public holidays and during three weeks of the summer holiday.


Radio New Zealand National's weeknight evening programme focuses on ideas and music. In the first three hours interviews with guests and regular commentators are intermingled with pre-recorded specialty programmes from RNZ, the ABC in Australia and the BBC in the UK, music and hourly news bulletins. The fourth hour is dedicated to news coverage, and the fifth hour includes a half-hour music programme and an additional feature. Mondays to Thursdays between 20:15 and 20:45, Windows of the World is a nightly timeslot for documentaries by public radio broadcasters from around the world. The second is the News at 10, a fifteen-minute extended news bulletin starting at 22:00. This is followed by Late Edition between 22:15 and 22:45, a half-hour of highlights from Radio New Zealand News current affairs programmes Morning Report, Nine to Noon and Checkpoint. Dateline Pacific, the daily Pacific Islands news programme from Radio New Zealand International, is broadcast between 22:45 and 23:00.

Monday's programme emphasises world affairs and sports news. The first hour features interviews with special guests and music. After Windows of the World, Crump holds a discussion on sports issues at 20:45, called The Final Whistle, with New Zealand sports journalists Joseph Romanos or Penny Miles, American journalist Helene Elliott or British journalist Richard Fleming. Radio New Zealand News current affairs programme Insight begins 21:06, and at 21:40 Crump is joined by one of the programme's international correspondents. These include Tara Fitzgerald from Mexico, Dorothy Wickham from Solomon Islands, Emma Moore from China, Mahtab Haider from Bangladesh, Andra Suciu from Romania, Daniel Kalinaki from Uganda, Steven Lang from South Africa and Ross Bragg from Canada. In the final hour, Beale St Caravan, a live blues concert, follows the news at 11:06pm.

Tuesday's programme has an academic slant. Tuesdays nights begin with half an hour of music and interviews followed by The Sampler, a new music review programme hosted by Nick Bollinger. After Windows on the World, Crump has a social sciences discussion with one of five specialists at 20:45. This may be philosophy with Ann Kerwin, political systems with Brian Roper (A Nation's Administration), religion with Paul Morris from Victoria University (Prayers), energy with Ralph Sims (Ignition) or economics with Neville Bennett (Dollars and Sense). At 21:06 the Tuesday Feature is a documentary, recorded panel discussion or recorded lecture series; this may be the same as the Sunday Feature at 16:06 the following Sunday. Charlie Gillett's World of Music from the BBC World Service airs at 23:06, followed by Bedtime Story.

An arts focus is evident throughout Wednesday's programme. Music and interviews air until At the Movies, a long-running film review programme hosted by Simon Morris, at 19:30. At 20:45, after Windows on the World, Crumnp hears jazz reviews from Fergus Barrowman (Offbeat), music history with Wayne Mowat (Hit Parade), arts news with Emma Bugden (Gallery), classical musical reviews with Kate Mead (The Podium) DVD reviews with Miles Buckingham (Small Screen Cinema) and poetry with Chris Price (A Leaf of Words). Theatre hour Curtain Call after 21:00 includes Garrison Keillor's Radio Show; the Jazz Hour after 23:00 includes Round Midnight, Jazz Footprint, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Thursday evenings have a science theme. Music and interviews lead up the long-running Spectrum series, a documentary series about ordinary people in New Zealand. After Windows of the World, Crump dedicates the 20:45 to 21:00 timeslot to science. He speaks to Jean Fleming on human biology (Body Parts), Erick Brenstrem on world weather (Barometer), Alan Gilmore on astronomy (Starry Starry Night), Craig Stevens on oceanography (Salty Water), Hamish Campbell on geology (Hot Rocks) and Dennis McCaughan on mathematics (Primarily Numbers). At 21:06, Radio New Zealand's half-hour weekly science and environment programme, Our Changing World, is aired, followed by music and interviews until 22:00. The Music Mix, a programme about contemporary music, airs at 23:06.

Friday evening's programme has a more laid-back, music-centred style. Music leads up to 19:40 when a timeslot called Flash includes brief reports like NZ Society, music report The Vault and Asian Report. The second hour, Spotlight, includes music interviews and excerpts from recorded concerts. In the third hour Country Life, Radio New Zealand's weekly rural news and current affairs programme, premieres; it is rebroadcast at 07:06 on Saturday mornings. At 23:06 the programme's final hour of the week, Friday Finale, is dedicated to music performances and short music documentaries.[11]

On public holidays, during a four-week Christmas and summer break, or on days when Crump is on leave, Chris Whitta or Warwick Burke present.


The All Night Programme - Vicki McKay or Lloyd Scott - 00:00-06:00

Vicki McKay and Lloyd Scott present Radio New Zealand National's six-hour overnight variety magazine, The All Night Programme, every morning from midnight. Each hour features a four-minute bulletin from Radio New Zealand News and the latest weather forecast issued by MetService. The programme then features various pieces of music, specialist programmes and highlight interviews, and provides updates on sporting events and breaking news stories. Repeats of interviews and music from Kim Hill Saturday mornings and Chris Laidlaw Sunday mornings feature alongside repeats of segments of other programmes, and specialist programming from Radio New Zealand, the BBC World Service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other programme producers.

The programme has a regular daily schedule. In the first half-hour McKay or Scott reads the latest news update, previews the night ahead, and plays a selection of music in a timeslot called Music after Midnight. Specialist programmes air at 12:30: Discovery from the BBC World Service on Mondays, The Strand from the BBC World Service on Tuesdays, Insight from Radio New Zealand on Wednesdays, Spectrum from Radio New Zealand on Thursday, and Radio New Zealand disability affairs programme One in Five on Friday. Music and a specialist programme air after news at 01:00: Radio New Zealand's Te Ahi Kaa Mondays at 01:05, Radio New Zealand's Primary People Tuesdays at 01:15, BBC World Service timeslot From the World Wednesdays at 01:15, BBC World Service's Digital Planet Thursdays at 01:15, and Radio New Zealand programme Ideas Fridays at 01:05. Music and a specialist programme also air after news at 02:00, including BBC World Service's The Forum Wednesdays at 02:05, Radio New Zealand's Playing Favourites music segment Thursdays at 02:05 and The Sampler on Fridays at 02:05. A daily reading follows news at 03:00; these readings have previously aired at 10:45. A specialist programme or segment airs at 03:30: including a Radio New Zealand science timeslot on Mondays, Radio New Zealand's An Authors Views and Diversions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively, BBC World Service programme The Strand on Thursdays, and Radio New Zealand Canterbury Tales on Fridays. BBC World Service's Global Business airs at 04:30. Radio New Zealand's He Rourou airs at 05:10 Mondays to Friday. Before 06:00 McKay or Scott is joined by the hosts of Morning Report for a preview, and then looks back at the day in history.

On Saturdays Music after Midnight is followed by Laugh Track comedy segment at 12:30, BBC World Service documentary timeslot From the World at 01:05, Waiata Maori Music at 02:35, a reading at 03:05, Radio New Zealand News This Week at 03:35, and Radio New Zealand News Asian Report at 05:35. on Sundays Music after Midnight precedes Radio New Zealand's Our Changing World at 01:05, Radio New Zealand's Touchstone at 02:06, Hymns with Maureen Garing at 02:30, a reading at 03:05, a New Zealand books timeslot at 03:30, BBC World Service's One Planet at 04:30, and Radio New Zealand News Auckland Stories at 05:45.


Saturdays on Radio New Zealand National begin with two pre-recorded programmes - children's story hour Storytime after the 06:00 news and rural news and current affairs programme Country Life after the 07:00 news. Storytime, produced by Radio New Zealand Drama, consists of excerpts from New Zealand children's fiction titles being read by New Zealand actors.[12] About fifty children's stores are read for the programme every year[13] by the likes of Robyn Malcolm and Lloyd Scott.[14] Country Life, presented by Susan Murray and Dempsey Woodley, with production assistance from Carol Stiles and Cosmo Kentish-Barnes, is Radio New Zealand's rural affairs programme. It combines coverage of stories covered in Midday Report Rural News with documentaries and reports.[15]

National's flagship weekend programme is magazine Saturday Morning, currently hosted by Kim Hill and produced by Mark Cubey. The show, previously hosted by Brian Edwards as Top of the Morning (1994–1999) and John Campbell as Saturday Morning (1999–2002), covers science, literature, music, current issues and other topics.[16] The programme is defined as "entertainment" by Radio New Zealand; it therefore has no relationship with Radio New Zealand News and has no obligation to be impartial.[17]

Between 12:00 and 14:00, Simon Morton presents and Richard Scott produces consumer programme This Way Up - a programme about "the things we use and consume". The programme covers how things are invented, designed, manufactured and consumed, with particular emphasis on technology and food production. A Funky Chicken Farm, a Backyard Bee Hive and a Veggie iPlot have been set up by Morton and Scott since the programme was started in 2006, and the programme regularly updates how each of these is going. Since 2009, television spin-off Use as Directed, also hosted by Simon Morton, has been broadcast on TVNZ6.[18]

Between 14:00 and 17:00, Emma Smith presents music programme Music 101. Emma Smith, Kirsten Johnstone and Sam Wicks co-produce a programme about music and music events both in New Zealand and around the world. The programme includes interviews with contemporary musicians and people in the music industry, live sessions, recorded concerts and requests of commercial and non-commercial music alike. Trevor Reekie's behind-the-scenes show Access All Areas, and selections from Nick Bollinger's music review show The Sampler and contemporary music show The Music Mix are included; a half-hour live recording or music documentary airs after 16:00. Music 101 draws its name from National being on a frequency of approximately 101FM in most markets. .[19]

Music 101 is followed by two hours of news programming and five hours of music programming evening Saturday evening. Political affairs programme Focus on Politics and Pacific Islands affairs programme Tangata o te Moana air after 17:00; Great Encounters provides a selection of the most popular interviews from the past week after 18:00, Peter Fry hosts music and comedy programme Saturday Night from 19:00 and Wayne Mowat presents music history programme Wayne's Music after 23:00.[20]


Sundays, like Saturdays, begin with two hours of pre-recorded programming. Storytime's second weekly hour begins at 06:08 Sundays; Hymns and Weekend Worldwatch did follow another news update at 07:04. Hymns is a 25-minute compilation of hymns performed and recorded in New Zealand churches which is presented and produced by Mark Bushell. Maureen Garing, the previous host, died in 2011. From 30/03/2014 Hymns is going over to RNZ's sister station Concert at the later time of 7.30am.Weekend Worldwatch finished its run 23/03/2014

From 07:00 to 12:00, Wallace Chapman presents and Christine Cessford produces an entertainment programme of interviews, regular features, documentaries and music, Sunday Mornings. In the 8 to 9 hour a repeat of Radio New Zealand News current affairs programme Insight is followed by the day's first feature interview. In the 9 to 10 hour media review programme MediaWatch is followed by a second feature interview. In the third hour Laidlaw is joined by the Sunday Group panel to discuss topical issues until 10:40; Trevor Reekie's short music programme Hidden Treasures and reading of listener feedback round out the hour. In the final hour the academic timeslot Ideas explores "a range of philosophical, social, historical or environmental ideas", taking the form of a studio discussion, a documentary presented and produced by Jeremy Rose and Chris Laidlaw, a broadcast of The Forum from BBC World Service, or a broadcast of another documentary.[21]

From 12:00 to 16:00, arts journalist Lyn Freeman and film and music reviewer Simon Morris present and produce Standing Room Only (formerly the arts on Sunday), with Christine Cessford as their roving reporter. After the half-hour Spectrum series has aired in its traditional 12:15 timeslot, the rest of the afternoon is dedicated to art, theatre, film, comedy, literature, dance, entertainment and music. An arts news summary and two interviews or reports precede a news update and Simon Morris' movie review programme At the Movies at 13:00. An additional three interviews or reports lead up to a news update and a half-hour interview with a comedian about their favourite comedy at 14:00. A further three interviews or reports fill out the end of the third hour until the 15:00 news and a Sunday Theatre feature.[22]

From 16:00 to 20:00, the 4 til 6 programming block includes a variety of specialist programming. After the 16:00 news, the Sunday Feature is an hour-long local or international documentary. Philosophy and spirituality programme Touchstone and Maori music programme Waiata follow the news at 17:00; A weekly Māori magazine show Te Ahi Kaa follows the news at 18:00. The final hour includes disability affairs programme One in Five with Mike Gourley, and BBC World Service arts programme The Strand.[23]

Oral historian and archivist Jim Sullivan presents two hours of history and historic music between 20:00 and 22:00 each Sunday evening, called Sounds Historical. Sullivan plays material from Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (formerly Radio New Zealand Sound Archives), plays oral histories he has recorded in the past, interviews New Zealand historians about their research, and asks listeners to contribute their own memories.[24] At 22:00 the ten-minute News at Ten bulletin is followed by a repeat airing of MediaWatch from Laidlaw's Sunday morning programme and Wayne Mowat's music history programme, Wayne's Music, rounds off the evening from 22:50.[25]


Radio New Zealand National's programming is distributed via several means. Radio New Zealand National was the first station in New Zealand to incorporate the Radio Data System in its FM signal. Some FM stations are 101FM state-owned public service frequencies and some are owned by non-profit community organisations. Radio New Zealand National still broadcasts its FM signal in mono, but the on-line service is available in stereo.[26]

AM Frequencies[edit]

Area Transmitter Frequency (kHz)
Kaitaia Waipapakauri 837
Kaikohe Ohaeawai 981
Whangarei Otaika 837
Auckland Henderson 756
Hamilton Eureka 1143
Tauranga Paengaroa 819
Tokoroa Wiltsdown 729
Rotorua Tihiotonga 1188
Gisborne Wainui 1314
Hawke's Bay Opapa 630
New Plymouth Bell Block 918
Palmerston North Kairanga 1449
Masterton Waingawa 1071
Titahi Bay 567
Nelson Stoke 1116
Westport Cape Foulwind 1458
Christchurch Gebbies Pass 675
Timaru Fairview 918
Queenstown Kelvin Heights 1134
Alexandra Alexandra 639
Dunedin Highcliff 810
Invercargill Dacre 720

FM Frequencies[edit]

Area Transmitter Frequency (MHz)
Kaitaia Maungataniwha 101.1
Kaikohe Hikurangi 101.5
Whangarei Horokaka
Auckland Sky Tower 101.4
Te Aroha 101.0
Whakatane Mount Edgecumbe 101.7
Rotorua Tihiotonga 101.5
Te Kuiti (Community owned) Te Kuiti 94.0
Taupo Whakaroa
Mountain Road
Gisborne Wheatstone Road 101.3
Hawke's Bay Mount Erin 101.5
New Plymouth Mount Egmont 101.2
Wanganui Mount Jowett 101.6
Palmerston North Wharite 101.0
Masterton Otahoua 101.5
Kapiti Forest Heights 101.5
Wellington Kaukau
Blenheim Wither Hills 101.7
Takaka (Community owned) Mount Burnett 98.2
Nelson Grampians 101.6
Greymouth Paparoa 101.1
Christchurch Sugarloaf 101.7
Ashburton Gawler Downs 101.3
Lake Tekapo (Community owned) Mount John 93.4
Twizel (Community owned) Mount Mary 92.6
Omarama (Community owned) Cloud Hill 97.3
Otematata (Community owned) 106.7 (LPFM)
Timaru Mount Studholme 101.1
Wanaka Mount Maude 101.0
Milford Sound (Community owned) Milford Sound Hotel 92.0
Queenstown Peninsula Hill 101.6
Alexandra Obelisk 101.5
Te Anau (Community owned) Ramparts Road 101.6
Dunedin Highcliff 101.4
Invercargill Hedgehope 101.2

Other islands[edit]

Other broadcasting methods[edit]


  1. ^ "Dominion Post, Retrieved March 29th 2014". 
  2. ^ Radio New Zealand tops Ratings for 2012. Radio New Zealand |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Radio New Zealand About Us". 2011-11-28. 
  4. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Programmes A-Z: Morning Report". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Nine to Noon". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Listener Meets Jim Mora". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Jim Mora Screentalk". 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Matinee Idle". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Wayne's Music". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Checkpoint". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  11. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Nights". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. /about
  12. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Storytime". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  13. ^ "Radio New Zealand Drama". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  14. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Storytime". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  15. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Country Life". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  16. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Saturday". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  17. ^ "Plunket argues Radio New Zealand discriminated against him". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  18. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: This Way Up". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  19. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Music 101". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  20. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Schedule". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  21. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Sunday". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  22. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Arts on Sunday". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  23. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Schedules". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  24. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Sounds Historical". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  25. ^ "Radio New Zealand National: Schedule". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  26. ^

External links[edit]