Offshore radio was not a phenomenon exclusive to the Northern Hemisphere. On the other side of the world, in New Zealand, then one of the most traditional and conservative of countries, the concept of offshore radio was used during the mid-1960s, as a means to break the state radio monopoly.
The success achieved by New Zealand’s only offshore broadcaster, Radio Hauraki, remains almost unique in offshore radio history. It was only one of two offshore station to be granted a licence to come ashore and operate legally from landbased studios - something other offshore broadcasters dreamt of, but never achieved. (The other was Radio One in Israel)
Radio Veronica in the Netherlands was the only other offshore broadcaster which came close to achieving this status, but this did not come instantly. The station ceased its broadcasts from international waters, but it had to wait years before first becoming a part of the state broadcasting system and then, later, a legal, landbased commercial station.
Follow the link below for detailed information about how Radio Hauraki challenged and helped break New Zealand’s state broadcasting monopoly:-
In addition to the stations which did broadcast there were often plans for stations which never materialised or only lasted a very short time - days or even just a few hours.
Click on the blue arrows to read more.
Radio Ventura/Radio Maverick
Radio Southern Cross
A group in Wellington (South Island) planned to anchor a ship in the Cook Straits, serving both the North and South Islands. This project was backed by a former NZBC advertising and production executive Colin Broadley, who had unsuccessfully applied for a job with Radio Hauraki and, having been turned down, decided to launch his own station. The Radio Hauraki team managed to persuade Broadley's backers to withdraw their support for his planned station, but at the same time agreed to employ him after all.
Radio Southern Cross
At the end of July 1966 a newspaper headline announced another project to launch an offshore radio station – Radio Southern Cross. The person behind this second project was Keith Ashton who had left the Radio Hauraki team following disagreements over policy. He claimed Radio Southern Cross would start its transmissions on 24th October 1966, with 24 hour a day programming.
Radio International (Radio i)
Plans for another offshore radio station, Radio International, were announced in September 1966. Radio International, or Radio i, was said to be ready to start broadcasts in September 1966 from a 130 ton ship then being fitted out in Fiji. The Radio International project was backed by a company known as International Advertisers Ltd., which included an number of prominent Auckland businessmen amongst its backers.
Although the offshore radio station never materialised in July 1969, Radio i was one of the groups which submitted an application for a licence to operate one of the new landbased stations in Auckland
When the Broadcasting Authority's decision was made known in March 1970 Radio Hauraki was granted one of the two licences for the Auckland area, with the other being granted to Radio International (Radio i). Radio Hauraki worked hard to put its landbased station on the airwaves ahead of old rivals Radio I, and achieved this on 26th September 1970 beating its rival by over a month.
In July 1966 an advert appeared in the Auckland Star inviting potential staff and advertisers to write to a proposed offshore station - Radio Maverick (also known as Radio Ventura) - at a Post Office Box address in Auckland.
A Canadian-Mexican, Antonio Santa Maria Fernandez, had been the person who placed the advertisement. He claimed to be the local representative of a group of Canadian businessmen who planned to anchor a former American Liberty ship off the New Zealand coast, equipped with a powerful transmitter and fully fitted out as a broadcasting base for a station to be called Radio Ventura. Letters sent by Fernandez to advertising agencies claimed Radio Ventura would have a 5Kw transmitter.
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