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Broadcasting House (1963 - 1997) Film Screening

Broadcasting House (1963 - 1997) Film Screening

A film programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of the opening of Broadcasting House – a hub for New Zealand radio during the second half of the 20th century. The films look back on Broadcasting House’s rich history, from its opening in 1963, to its demolition in 1997 – and some of the memorable moments that passed in between.

Broadcasting House was a multi-purpose broadcasting centre on Bowen Street, Wellington.

In its heyday in the 1960s, 70s and 80s Broadcasting House was the home of what are now known as Radio New Zealand National, Radio New Zealand Concert, Radio New Zealand International, the AM Network, Newstalk ZB, Radio Sport, ZM Wellington, Access Radio, and the news operations for Radio New Zealand and commercial radio. There were also music and drama studios for radio and commercial recordings, commercial production studios and a master control room.

In the 1980s the commercial radio stations moved out and it became the home of public radio.

During 1996 Radio New Zealand, by now a separate public broadcasting company, was informed that it would have to leave the building because it was to be demolished as part of planned changes to the Parliamentary precinct.

The last broadcast from Broadcasting House was on Sunday July 20, 1997. Earlier in the month all of Radio New Zealand’s operations had been transferred to Radio New Zealand House, on the Terrace. Plans to build on the Broadcasting House site, including one radical idea to move the Beehive and finally complete the old Parliament buildings, were shelved and to this day the site is occupied by a park.

The Broadcasting House (1963 – 1997) screening programme features film footage from across the building’s existence. This includes footage from the opening festivities for Broadcasting House in 1963. Dr. Llewellyn (NZBC Chairman) and the Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson give speeches.

Staff are also shown going about their work at Broadcasting House during the 1960s. Ralph Durnley, Jim Winchester, Lyle Boyes, Cathy Saunders and others feature. News items from the 1980s focus on the proposed sale of Radio New Zealand’s commercial radio stations and on Radio NZ becoming a State-Owned Enterprise. Among other films, news items from the 1990s look at how the internet may change the operations of traditional media and report on the 1997 Broadcasting House fire.

The Film Archive would like to acknowledge Matthew Finn (Broadcast Infrastructure Manager, Radio New Zealand) for the historical information on Broadcasting House. The Broadcasting House (1963 – 1997) programme will screen at 4.15pm, Saturday 26 October. At The Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington. Entry by koha.

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