NEW ZEALAND: Kiwi radio

Napier’s 1930s Art Deco city centre – Source

I’ve been trolling through Radio Garden for live radio from New Zealand, especially to listen to as I work. There’s a fair bit of commercial radio, but it’s really similar to the music played on commercial radio here – some even geo-locate their ads online, so I get Canadian ads in the breaks! However, there’s also a lot of really interesting independent, public, community, and online stations in Aotearoa. The time difference means I’m mainly listening to overnight programming, but that’s often when they play the really cool stuff.

Base FM – An Auckland-based station that prides itself on its independence – “100% DJ’s choice”. They rotate DJs, and each gets to play whatever tickles their fancy. They also have shows dedicated to only NZ and Indigenous artists, interviews, new artist showcases, and more. Big mix of hip hop, jazz, electronic, reggae, and more. Listen live here.

KiwiFolk Radio – On the opposite end of the country, in Dunedin on the south end of the South Island, another independent radio station – this one all folk, Celtic, bluegrass, and jazz. I think they play either exclusively or mainly Kiwi artists – I was listening to a lovely late-night set that interspersed music with some soothing local birdcalls. Listen live here.

Radio Los Galanes – A really interesting little radio station on the South Island – mainly Latin music. I tuned in to some absolutely fire Spanish guitar, interspersed with clips from Spanish language. I’ve also caught jazz, big band, and calypso. Listen live here.

Mouthfull Radio – Fun experimental radio, with soundscapes, house, hip-hop, and dance mixes, and DJ sets. Less esoteric and more upbeat than some of the experimental radio in San Marino last month, but similarly interesting. Listen live here.

RNZ Radio – Now the big one! There’s several different stations from RNZ, New Zealand’s public broadcaster:

  • RNZ National: The main RNZ radio station – a mix of news, talk, and music. The late night radio usually has radio documentaries – I listened to one on farmers growing ultra-high quality fruit for export to Japan, where they’re sold for immense prices. Listen live here.
  • RNZ Concert: An all-music channel, mainly classical, opera, jazz, and choral music. Very little interruptions – sometimes there’s a presenter sharing some details, sometimes it’s a concert played straight through. Listen live here.
  • RNZ Pacific: A similar mix as RNZ National, but with a focus on Pacific Islands – sometimes the program is the same, and sometimes it’s either Pacific-focused or Pacific-language programming. There’s news and shows in Tongan, Samoan, French, Cook Islands Maori, Niuean, and Pidgin languages from PNG, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Listen live here.

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