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Govt Dumps on Small Radio Station, Again

05 May 2006


Labour supports creation of New Radio network, propping up CanWest profits, at expense of Kiwi Businesses.

CHRISTCHURCH 5/5/2006: Pulzar Broadcasting are infuriated that after 7 years of lobbying the government for useable radio spectrum, the decision has been made to give frequency space away to the largest radio company in New Zealand, Canadian owned CanWest, supporting their efforts to retain a duopoly and eliminate further competition in the NZ radio market.

Pulzar Broadcasting has approached the Ministry for Economic Development several times during the last 7 years enquiring about any opportunity to obtain a higher power frequency or even a short term broadcasting license, the last high power frequency to be released in Christchurch was in 1991 for which CanWest paid $1.2m.

Over the last few years, the Labour Government have allowed CanWest to use a new frequency off the Sky Tower to broadcast Channel Z Auckland wide after they replaced the old frequency with The Edge, under the guise of a transmission test, and in the most recent radio spectrum auction two frequencies were offered in Auckland. From a press release announcing the Auction Mr. Maharey stated that the auction "was for the purpose of allowing new broadcasters to bring new products to air", Andrew Poulsen claims “what in fact happened was CanWest & the Radio Network paid $6.5m each to obtain the frequencies and continue to broadcasting duopoly that is stagnating the sound of New Zealand radio”. Not to mention apparent gifting of a radio frequency to a Tauranga broadcaster back in 2004, who after losing at auction, successfully carried out pirate radio broadcasts until Mr. Maharey gave in and agreed to investigate making a new frequency available for their use.

Pulzar FM has been patiently waiting for the Government to announce the auction of new frequencies, According to Mr. Poulsen “It has had potential investors come and go, giving up on the project in frustration due to the lack of action by the Government”. Mr. Akehurst states “We believe the time has come to speak out against this apparent gulf between back-room deals and the published policies of a government”.

About Pulzar Broadcasting

Pulzar Broadcasting was established in 1999 by two young Kiwi entrepreneurs and dance music enthusiasts to provide a youthful, high energy dance format with a different positive energy sound. Over the years a following has developed nationwide and internationally while broadcasting on low power guard-band frequency 88.7fm in the inner city, and on the internet Currently staffed by dedicated volunteers, and owned by popular Christchurch DJ Andy Poulsen and business partner Jason Akehurst, PulzarFM supports New Zealand music with approximately 25% regular NZ music content, plus live shows from some of New Zealand and the world’s best DJ entertainment.


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