Radio Hauraki.

PHONE: 09-302-8249
PHONE: 07 838-2898

Radio Hauraki is New Zealandís first pirate radio station and the only pirate radio station to be granted a .private land licence. The following chronicles Radio Haurakiís incredible history:

Mid-1965: The idea for Radio Hauraki crystallised in a pub in Wellington. David Gapes moves to Auckland to start the station.

Mid-March 1966: 1480kHZ-AM was the decided frequency to broadcast on because it was well away from any frequency currently being used by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) and any Australian broadcasters.

Saturday April 9th, 1966 (Easter Saturday): The Hauraki idea came to light through an article in the Auckland based New Zealand Herald - "PIRATE RADIO STATION IN GULF PLANNED".

April 1966: Derek Lowe and Chris Parkinson join David Gapes in putting Hauraki together.

Hauraki tried to get a private broadcasting licence by the book but the NZBC and the NZ Government turned their application down. "GOT YOUR SEASICK PILLS?"

Sunday May 1st 1966: Hauraki gets some editorial support from the Wellington based Dominion Sunday Times through a headlined reading - "BREAK THIS MONOPOLY".

May 1966: An on air target date was set - 11am 1st October 1966.

Mid-July 1966: Hauraki hears of pirate radio rivals through an advertisement in an evening edition of The Auckland Star - the rival, Radio Maverick then renamed Radio Ventura.

July 25th 1966: Yet another possible rival for Hauraki? Radio Southern Cross. A Headline ran in The Sunday News - "PIRATE RADIO BATTLE: TWO NEW STATIONS IN FIGHT FOR AIR-WAVE FORTUNE".
Yet another announcement of another radio station a little while later - Radio International.

August 1966: Hauraki chooses their transmission vessel, The M.V. TIRI - she needed a lot of work on her though, before she would be ready for the rough International waters just beyond New Zealand's 3 mile limit.

Friday September 16th, 1966: One day before setting sail the TIRI was detained. Hauraki is prevented in taking the TIRI to sea - by the Government.
11am October 1st 1966: The TIRI is still berthed at the Western Viaduct in Auckland.

Sunday October 23rd, 1966: THE BATTLE OF THE TIRI.
The Hauraki crew decide to set sail. The TIRI gets stuck up against the draw bridge but with a little help from a 200 strong crowd who were lined up along the wharf to see what was happening the TIRI is set free and starts sailing but eventually the police put a stop to the TIRI going any further by pulling the fuel line which shuts down the main engine. The Hauraki crew were arrested and the TIRI put back to its berth all to the disappointment of the Hauraki fans but were later set free on bail, in the early hours of Monday October 24th 1966.

Wednesday, October 26th, 1996: A public meeting in the Auckland Town Hall set up by Hauraki with the Government Spokespersons invited to speak. Over 2,000 Hauraki supporters jammed the Auckland Town Hall with banners reading: "LICENCE RADIO HAURAKI"; "WE WANT PIRATES"; "SURFIES SUPPORT HAURAKI"; "FLAT EARTH SOCIETY SUPPORTS RADIO HAURAKI"; "DOWN WITH THE NZBC".

Wednesday, 2nd November - Monday,7th November, 1966: Hauraki directors in court over the detaining orders of the TIRI. Hauraki wins. The Government had detained the TIRI to stop it being used as a pirate radio station NOT because the TIRI was to be surveyed before being allowed to be put out to sea.

10pm, Thursday, November 10th, 1966: The TIRI set sail again with hardly any one insight except for 3 young teenage Hauraki fans who had been asked to keep the TIRI's departure a secret for at least an hour.
The dream was nearly complete. All that was needed now was to get the TIRI beyond the NZ 3-mile limit and into International waters, start the transmitter up and begin broadcasting. No news of the departure of the TIRI was broadcast on the NZBC's final news broadcast to the exultant cheer of the Hauraki crew aboard the TIRI.

6:30am, Friday, 11th November 1996: The TIRI anchors at what would be her home, or close to it, for the next 31/2 years.

Monday, 21st November, 1966: Hauraki start test transmission on 1480AM - although a bit weak and distorted Hauraki was on the air for the first time. They had technical difficulties and began to improve the signal.
1st December 1966: Hauraki began transmissions in earnest at sea aboard the TIRI in the Hauraki Gulf on 1480AM from about 8pm. The station jingle rang out loud and clear. "Radio Hauraki, Top Of The Dial".
And then Bob Laehy's voice came over the air: "You're listening to Radio Hauraki, Top of the Dial, and we're broadcasting a test transmission on 1480. No doubt you know that we've been in at Greta Barrier, Port Tryphena. We've done some modifications to the transmitter and we've erected our full antenna. So we're expecting to be putting out quite a good signal tonight. So, we'd like to know how well you are receiving us. So, drop us a line: Radio Hauraki, Post Office Box 2964 in Auckland - 2964, and let us know how you're picking up Radio Hauraki. Twelve minutes past eight now, Top of the Dial"

Trouble for Hauraki: 30 - 35 knot winds knock the huge transmitter mast off the TIRI and Hauraki off the air.

9am, Sunday, December 4th, 1966: On air tests started up again.

11am, Sunday, December 4th, 1966: Listeners who were tuned in to 1480AM heard the sound of seagulls at the start of the documentary, that was produced weeks before, all about Radio Hauraki.
That was the programme that reintroduced commercial private broadcasting to New Zealand after a gap of almost 30 years. The dream was now complete - Radio Hauraki was officially on air.

Saturday, January 28th 1968: "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY".
The TIRI runs aground upon rocks in treacherous weather in the entrance to Whangaparapara Harbour. Derek King kept listeners on 1480AM informed with a 'blow-by-blow' commentary as the TIRI hit the rocks.
Paul Lineham made what was to be the final broadcast for Hauraki from the beloved yellow TIRI. "Hauraki News: Hauraki crew is abandoning ship. This is Paul Lineham aboard the TIRI. Good Night." Then a station jingle - "RADIO HAURAKI - NUMBER 1" Then only silence. Radio Hauraki is off the air.

Sunday January 29th 1968: The TIRI is towed back to Auckland. The TIRI was badly damaged and is beyond repair. The TIRI's days for Hauraki are over. Most of Hauraki's transmitter and studio equipment from the TIRI is salvaged and the search for a new vessel to broadcast from starts in earnest.

4 days after the grounding of the original TIRI a new vessel is found - the KAPUNI which was repainted in the TIRI's original yellow and 'unofficially' re-named by the Hauraki crew as the TIRI II. Work on refitting the TIRI II with Hauraki's broadcasting equipment begins immediately.

1:15am, Tuesday, February 27th 1968: The TIRI II sets sail for International waters.

Wednesday, February 28th 1968: Hauraki resumes regular programming after evening transmission test the night before. The Hauraki team set an on air target of 5am - They missed it by 21/2 hours. Hauraki on the air just under a month after the loss of the original TIRI.

April 10th, 1968: THE WAHINE STORM.
The TIRI II battles the storm and ends up beached again at Whangaparapara Harbour. The new 160-ft transmitter mast on board was badly damaged. The old mast from the TIRI I is called upon to be put into use.
The storm continues down the country towards the country's capital city Wellington for its rendezvous with the ill-fated inter-island ferry WAHINE. Because of the storm the WAHINE had beached itself upon rocks at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. 54 people lost their lives aboard the WAHINE.
The TIRI II crew were more fortunate than those aboard the WAHINE..

Easter Monday, April 15th 1968: After repairing the transmitter mast back in Auckland, Hauraki was back on the air at 6pm, just missing out on the Easter Weekend Advertising which was needed.

Between April 20th - May 19th 1968: Radio inspectors catch Hauraki broadcasting in NZ internal waters on several occasions. Hauraki was starting to worry that this was going to be the end and that they would never get a private broadcasting licence for land transmissions.

May 15th 1968: Beached again at Whangaparapara. Back on air May 19th 1968.

June 13th 1968: The TIRI II runs aground at Uretiti Beach, about 20 miles south of Whangarei, Near Waipu. The Hauraki crew again safe.

Hauraki started 24 hour broadcasting just before Christmas 1968. The first station in NZ to be on air 24 hours. They called it 'Yawn To Dawn'. The transmitter didn't seem to fail as much now. It seemed to like running constantly.

October 1969: Applications for private broadcasting were being put together to be put before the Broadcasting Authority by Radio Hauraki and two other companies - Radio Auckland Ltd, a station to be jointly run by the 2 daily Auckland newspapers - The New Zealand Herald and The Auckland Star, and by Radio Hauraki's old enemy Radio International which was now calling itself Radio i.
January 27th 1970: Hearings for private broadcasting began on the fifth floor of Caltex House in Downtown Auckland. The room overlooked the Viaduct Basin where the battle of the TIRI I was fought.

Late afternoon, Tuesday, 24th March 1970: The Broadcasting Authority made its announcement rejecting the NZBC's claims against private broadcasting and awarding 2 private broadcasting licences for the Auckland area. Radio Hauraki was granted one of the private broadcasting licences. The other to long time rival, Radio i.

June 1st 1970: The final sea broadcast of the 'pirate' radio station Radio Hauraki from aboard the TIRI II - after 1,111 days out at sea the pirates were finally coming ashore. The final part of the broadcast of the "old" Hauraki was a documentary of Hauraki's history up till now. The broadcast finished at 10:00pm. The faithful transmitter shut down for the final time and the TIRI II headed for Auckland.

June 2nd, 1970: Announcer Rick Grant was lost overboard. A bitter end to what was a successful day for the Radio Hauraki team who had fort so long and hard to get on land.

The battle was on once again between Radio Hauraki and Radio i to get on the air first.

6am, Saturday 26th September 1970: Only 98 days after being granted its private broadcasting licence, Radio Hauraki was on the air - LEGALLY, broadcasting on 1480AM, from the studios on the 4th floor of Caltex House , just one floor below the room where the Broadcasting Authority heard Hauraki's plea to come ashore. Radio Hauraki had done it, breaking a 30 year State broadcasting monopoly by the NZBC, and beating the rivals Radio i, to air by more than a month. But it wouldn't be Hauraki without something going wrong. A friendly bulldozer, later on opening day, managed to slice through the direct line between the studio and the transmitter towers to briefly put the Hauraki Pirates off the air.

September 1977: David Gapes resigns from Radio Hauraki. He later ran the news service for one of Auckland's 2 new FM stereo radio stations which started up in 1982/83 - 89FM - which now doesn't exist.
The frequency 89.4FM was bought by Radio New Zealand (formerly the NZBC and now known as The Radio Network) in 1992 and the station became 89X - a rock station. This was short lived because on February 10th 1993, 89X was shut down and 89.4FM started broadcasting Radio New Zealand's highest rating station in Auckland - Newstalk 1ZB (now known as News'talk ZB) which was and still is broadcasting on 1080AM.

New Zealand's very first licensed FM Stereo radio station was FM 90.7 - run by Radio Bay Of Plenty Limited, 1XX, broadcasting from the 1XX building in Whakatane and from 1XX's caravan around the Bay Of Plenty. FM 90.7 went to air at 4pm on January 5th 1982 and finished its short term licence at 12am Midnight on January 31st 1982 with two on air shifts: 4pm - 8pm and 8pm - 12am Midnight each day. There was a mixture of Country; Album Rock; Classical; Jazz; Rock and Soul; Top 40 and Big Band and Beautiful Music each day.

1XX was the 3rd private commercial radio station in the country behind Radio Hauraki and Radio i and the first private commercial station in a PROVINCIAL area. 1XX began broadcasting on Wednesday, June 30th, 1971on 1240AM. Since 1979 1XX broadcast on 1242AM and now broadcast on 90.5FM and 93.0FM in Ohope as well.
In 1993 1XX started up a rock station - Bayrock 97-7FM, which ran for 6 weeks from 12pm Midday, on December 26th (Boxing Day in New Zealand) 1993 - 4pm, February 6th (Waitangi Day - NZ's National Day), 1994. 1XX, with a little help from Radio Hauraki, and after a lot of phone calls, letters and petitions, reinstated Bayrock at 12pm Midday, on July 8th, 1994 for a permanent Hauraki-style rock station in the Bay Of Plenty. Bayrock now broadcasts on 99-3FM in Ohope.

NZ changed from 10-step AM to 9-step AM about 1979 and Hauraki started broadcasting on 1476AM, Radio i went from 1330AM to 1332AM and 1XX in Whakatane went from 1240AM to 1242AM.

1982: Derek Lowe, who had became Hauraki's Managing Director when David Gapes resigned, was driving taxis in Auckland and asked to join a Hauraki rival to insure its survival - talkback station Radio Pacific, which he had invested in, and where he is now the Managing Director of the 26 frequency nation-wide network station.

Mid-1982: Hauraki applied for an FM licence but later pulled that application.

Mid-1989: Hauraki re-applies for the FM licence and get it.

1990: They drop the 1476AM frequency and started broadcasting on 99.0 MHZ-FM.
HAURAKI 99FM - Aucklandís Original Rock Station.

September 21st, 1995: Hauraki relays its Auckland programme into the Waikato on 100.0 MHZ-FM.
HAURAKI 100FM - Rock Of The Waikato.

July 1996: Radio Hauraki Goes On Line on the internet.
Visit the various Radio Hauraki Web Sites:

This Historical look at Radio Hauraki was researched and complied by Aaron Anderson in New Zealand.

Do you remember those 'Golden' days of Offshore radio? If you wish to add anything to these pages then please E-Mail me

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