The New Zealand government is putting its money where its policy mouth is. From July, Kiwi FM network will access for one year initially three new FM frequencies: Auckland 102.2FM, Wellington 102.1FM and Christchurch 102.5FM under an agreement that will help the 100 percent Kiwi music station stay on the air, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey says.
CanWest MediaWorks launched KIWI FM in February 2005 and is currently the only radio station that currently is expected to play 100 percent New Zealand originated music.
As part of Maharey's deal, CanWest's KIWI FM is expected to progressively work to becoming a not-for-profit organisation.
At least eight new specialist shows, funded by NZ On Air, will be included on the new format. These include shows for Independent, Alternative and New, specific genres, unsigned artists, label features and more.
Steve Maharey said airplay of New Zealand music had doubled since March 2002 when the government and the Radio Broadcasters Association launched a Code of Practice for New Zealand music content. Kiwi FM was one of the ways the industry could build on that success.
Award-winning author and radio broadcaster, Karyn Hay is new General Manager of Kiwi FM.