The Rock (radio station)

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The Rock
The Rock FM New Zealand logo.svg
Broadcast area New Zealand
Branding The Rock
Slogan "We play rock..."
Frequency Various
First air date 1992
Format Music (Rock)
Class Terrestrial/Internet
Owner MediaWorks New Zealand
Webcast [1]

The Rock is a New Zealand rock music radio station. The station is known to broadcast material of a controversial nature, and The Rock has in the past had some issues with the Broadcasting Standards Authority with a number of complaints upheld against broadcasts on The Rock. The Rock is targeted exclusively towards males aged 18–35, but in spite of this also has a significant female fan base. The Rock's major competitors are Radio Hauraki, ZM and Classic Hits. The Rock have a number of weekly features and countdowns which distinguish it from other radio stations, including The Rock 1000, in which the biggest 1000 rock songs in history are voted on and counted down annually; and "Wind Up Your Wife Wednesday", during which afternoon announcers Robert and Jono conduct prank calls with the aim of annoying or enraging a nominated 'target'.

The Rock plays a broad range of rock music, from old favourites right through to newly released rock singles, and commits a notable amount of airtime to showcasing up-and-coming New Zealand rock acts.


The Rock began on 1 December 1991 in Hamilton as The Rock 93FM by Grant Hislop, Joe Dennehy and Martin Dempster trading as Nevada Resources Ltd. The original line-up included Chris Clarke on breakfast (replaced by Mark Bunting after 2 months) and Roger Farrelly on Drive. Originally, The Rock 93FM was based in the basement of Radio New Zealand Broadcasting House in Hamilton, this headquarters was the studios for ZHFM. The transmitter was originally located on the top of Waikato Hospital. In 1993 The Rock moved to their new premises at 564 Victoria Street in Hamilton. Grant purchased a collection of FM frequencies from the Christian Broadcasting Association and transferred them to Nevada. Using the first of these frequencies a local version of The Rock was started in Taranaki in 1993, this station was originally broadcast on 100FM but after Nevada Resources Ltd and Energy Enterprises merged, The Rock in Taranaki moved to 95.6FM. A third The Rock station was started in the Bay of Plenty in 1996 with local programming. In 1997 The Rock created a regional network by replacing the Taranaki and Bay of Plenty stations with the Hamilton based The Rock station and also networked into Rotorua. In 1998 The Rock began networking to other regions in the North Island. In 1999 The Rock relocated their studios to Auckland and began broadcasting there, later that year Energy Enterprises and Radio Otago merged to form Radioworks and as a result the station was networked into the South Island. In Christchurch, Radio Otago had already been operating their own rock station called C93FM and this station was networked to Dunedin and Invercargill, C93FM actually played a Classic rock format similar to Radio Hauraki. RadioWorks replaced C93FM in Dunedin and Invercargill with The Rock and kept C93FM operating in Christchurch but changed its format to Adult Contemporary and launched The Rock on a separate frequency. C93 no longer operates as the station failed to attract new listeners after the format change. Today The Rock broadcasts over most of New Zealand. Their slogan is "Music, It's about the only thing we take seriously".

The only remaining original members of The Rock crew are Rog, Tracey Donaldson and Paul Martin aka The Axeman. Tracey started at The Rock in 1991 and left for her OE (Overseas Experience) in 1996 but returned to The Rock in 2003. The Axeman is the longest-serving member of The Rock, having been with it soon since early 1992, hosting his show "The Axe Attack" every Sunday night. Other DJs to have left include Greenman, who went on his OE to the UK, Beachy (Christopher Beach) who moved into sales, and Julie.

Currently, regular on-air announcers include Roger Farrelly, Bryce Casey, Leah Panapa and Andrew Mulligan as hosts The Morning Rumble, The Rock's breakfast show between 5.30am - 9am. Tracey Donaldon (9am-1pm) and Jason Mac (1pm-4pm) cover the workday, with Robert and Jono's Drive taking over the afternoons from 4-7pm. Duncan Heyde and Mike 'Gumbo' Garvey host the night show "Rock Nights" from 7pm until midnight.

Rock jocks[edit]


5:30am – 9:00am - The Morning Rumble

  • Roger Farrelly
  • Leah Panapa
  • Bryce Casey

9:00am – 3:00pm - Workday

  • Tracey Donaldson

3:00pm – 7:00pm - Drive

7:00pm - 12:00a - Rock Nights

  • Mike 'Gumbo' Garvey

12:00a - 5:30a - Rock Overnights

  • Dan Webby

The current morning radio show is known as The Morning Rumble, the member of which are currently Roger Farrelly (Rog), Leah Panapa, Bryce Casey and Andrew Mulligan. The show is aired weekday mornings between 5:30am and 9am. Rog is the longest-serving member of The Rumble, having been a co-host on the show since its inception alongside Nick Trott. Trott left the show in 2006, when he moved back to his home town of Hamilton in Waikato to work on the morning show on More FM. Leah Panapa also began working on the show in its early years, reading the news. Up until recently, Paul Ego was part of the show, and initially worked as the show's producer, and in addition to his duties on The Morning Rumble is an accomplished comedian, who fronts comedy TV show 7 Days. Paul left in March 2011, replaced by host of Prime TV's The Crowd Goes Wild, Andrew Mulligan. Bryce has attempted to break two world records during his tenure on the show, his most notable attempt being to break the record for the longest time ten-pin bowling continuously. He fell short by only a few hours.

Tracey Donaldson takes over on-air from 9:00am – 3:00pm, fronting the 'Workday' show which is mainly request-based. Tracey performs the majority of the music interviews the show manages to procure, and these are usually played during her show.

As of April 28, 2014 Jono & Ben (from Jono and Ben at Ten fame) are now on from 3:00pm – 7:00pm for The Rock's 'Drive' show.

Mike Garvey hosts Rock Nights from 7:00pm – 12:00am. From 10pm - 12am Mike hands the playlist over to the listeners and nothing but requests air for The Takeover.

There is then a 12am - 5:30am dawn show which is sometimes hosted by a slew of Rock staff.

Saturday nights are an ad and announcer free all request party show from 8pm til 1am.


20:00 - 2300 Sunday Night

Paul Martin, who hosts his own show called The Axe Attack on Sunday nights from 8pm. Paul is one of The Rock's longest-serving DJs, presenting, programming and producing his hugely successful weekly metal show The Axe Attack on The Rock since 1992. He is one of NZ's staunchest ambassadors of Kiwi music (no less than 25% per show)

Former Rock jocks[edit]

  • Simon Doull
  • Paul Ego
  • Nick Trott
  • Christopher Beach (Beachy)
  • Greenman
  • Julie Moffet
  • Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce (Bill and Ben)
  • Andrew Mulligan
  • Robert Taylor

Do Stuff To...[edit]

On Fridays during The Morning Rumble, a section of the show was called 'Do Stuff To Jono Fridays'. This formed a large part of the entertainment value of the station and one of the early distinguishing features of The Rock. Nick & Rog would think up stunts to do to fellow Rock Jock, Jono. Some of the stunts were 'The Human Slushy', 'The Pyramid of Fire', 'Human Coleslaw', 'Sleigh of Fire', 'The Skater Ramp of Doom', a full body wax, and giving Jono a tattoo on his bum but not telling him that it was a love heart with Nick & Rog's names. Photos, video and details of a number of the 'Do Stuff To Jono' episodes can be viewed here.

In 2006 when Jono got his own slot with Robert on weekday afternoons, the show then became "Do Stuff To Jimmy". Stunts included putting electrodes on his nipples, and other assorted painful and humiliating acts. Jimmy is no longer working at The Rock, and there is currently no 'Do Stuff' segment.

A one-off 'Final Ever Do Stuff To Jono' stunt was planned and executed in September 2009, during which Jono performed a 'Mega Stunt' - riding a BMX bike down a steep slope, through pyrotechnics and a pane of glass, and finally scaling a ramp to jump over a parked ute. This final 'Do Stuff To Jono' stunt can be viewed here.


The most recent survey taken in Late 2011 revealed that The Rock is the most listened to music radio station in New Zealand, as it is the #1 music station for all people in the country, the #1 music station for all New Zealand breakfast listeners, the #1 station for all New Zealand males, the #1 station for all New Zealanders aged 18–34, and the #1 station for all New Zealanders aged 25–44.[citation needed]


North Island
Northland 90FM, Rodney 104.9FM, Auckland 90.2FM, Mercury Bay 105.5FM, Tauranga 94.2FM, Waikato 93FM, Rotorua 92.7FM, Taupo 94.4FM, Gisborne 94.1FM, Wairoa 94.1FM, Taranaki 95.6FM, Wanganui 95.2FM, Hawke's Bay 95.1FM, Manawatu 95.4FM, Wairarapa 95.1FM, Kapiti 91.9FM, Wellington 96.5FM
South Island
Blenheim 91.3FM, Nelson 94.4FM, Christchurch 93.7FM, Ashburton 97.3FM, Timaru 91.5FM, Oamaru 104.8FM, Central Otago 98.3FM, Wanaka 89.8FM or 93.0FM, Queenstown 100FM, Dunedin 93.4FM, Invercargill 90.8FM


"Win a wife" competition[edit]

"The Rock" organized a "win a wife" competition in early 2011. The winner would travel to Ukraine to meet a girl via the "Endless Love" dating agency. In response the Ukrainian group Femen organized a topless protest against this competition (in March 2011). A Femen activist advised: "Femen warns the 'lucky' winner of the New Zealand competition that he can expect an unhappy ending in Ukraine".[1][2]

The Rock website[edit]

The Rock's official website,, is currently New Zealand's number one men's lifestyle website, attracting around 180,000 unique browsers per month. As well as hosting content related to The Rock on air, the website also has unique male-targeted content including sports, motorsport, bikini models, game and gadget reviews, and funny videos, jokes and photos. It has won the award for Best Radio Website (NZ) for three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011).


  1. ^ "2 March 2011". BBC News. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ukraine feminists protest ‘Win a Wife’ competition". Khaleej Times. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 

External links[edit]