Pirate FM (Wellington)

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Pirate FM
Broadcast area Wellington, New Zealand
Branding Pirate FM
Slogan "Farc em all" and "Open ya buck'n'ears"
Frequency 98.9 and later 96.3
First air date early 1990
Format Music (Rock)
Class Terrestrial
Owner Derek Archer

Pirate FM was a radio station in Wellington on 96.3FM before it was replaced by The Rock in early 1999.

Controversial DJ Derek Archer ran Pirate FM during the 1990s. The station was sponsored by Capital Watch Services, and played virtually no ads.

Derek, self-styled radio pirate, had his own brand of rotation and would often play the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald each weekday morning for days on end. Every Sunday at 7pm, Derek took to playing an Album end to end. He spent a lot of time fighting city hall and used to regale listeners with tales of his various battles with the Wellington City Council.


Derek Archer ran Crescendo studio in Wellington at 99 Kent Terrace above the "Car Stereo Company". In early 1990, he began Fun and Music 99FM.

Derek Archer ran the station with business partners and support from local business. The station aimed for minimal advertising on air.

The station was taken off the air in July 1990 due to the NZ Radio Frequency Tender and lost its frequency to More FM Wellington. Derek continued to broadcast from this frequency becoming known as Pirate FM "Farc em all" where FARC referred to "False Acquisition of Radio Control". In April 1991, it ceased broadcasting. The 98.9 FM frequency was used to launch 99-100 More FM the following month.

In 1993 Pirate FM was restarted in the flat at Archer's place in Roseneath on 96.3FM. One night, an arson attempt effectively destroyed the station.

In September 1998, Derek Archer died from a heart attack at age 45, after collapsing at a furious debate between the candidates for the Wellington Mayoralty election. Pirate FM died with him.

The frequency was acquired in December 1998 by Radio Pacific/RadioWorks Group for $600,000 and used to launch the The Rock FM in Wellington in February 1999.

The Stations Mission[edit]

"The best dam radio Station in Wellington F.A.R.C 'EM ALL"

On Air Presenters[edit]

  • Derek Archer
  • Emily Howard
  • Chris Ryan
  • Graeme Acton
  • Emily Walker
  • Larnie Gifford
  • Andrew Hepworth
  • Brian "Bob" Reid
  • Eric Howard
  • Greg Hurrell
  • Colin Salmon
  • Tony Hedges
  • Dane McIndoe
  • Adam Rubie
  • Nick Menzies
  • Ralph "Ralpski" Mayman
  • Terry "TJ" Hohepa
  • Stuart Wallace George McLennan
  • William Doc Murdoch..
  • Patrick Moore
  • Matthew
  • Simon Hallewell
  • Jeff Slaven


No official survey was ever taken to establish ratings. The station still has an internet fan following 10 years after the passing of Derek Archer. Correction - Official Radio Surveys were taken at radio survey times & the station often won 'Best Other' with at any one time a 40,000+ listening audience for 96.3FM during 1990's


In the early days before his frequency went to tender and became More FM, Derek operated his station on 98.9FM. The station then went to 96.3FM, the frequency Pirate FM became known for.

External links[edit]