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Pacific Radio Network Provider Announced

25 July 2002

Pacific Radio Network Provider Announced

Pasefika Communications Network Limited (PCN) will run the new national Pacific radio network, due to go on air in September.

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche and National Pacific Radio Trust Board chairperson Leatigagaeono Simativa Perese today announced PCN will be responsible for delivering the programming for the new network.

“I am delighted that the Board has made this decision. It will ensure that the new network is driven and operated by Pacific communities. The network is now all set to go to air on Sunday 1 September, broadcasting on the FM frequency on 100 -108 Mhz,” said Mark Gosche.

The Government has allocated almost $7.7 million over four years to establish and run the network. It will be broadcast from Invercargill to Whangarei and provide for regional input.

Pasefika Communications Network Limited has been established by the Auckland Pacific Island Community Radio Trust (APICRT) which is 100% owned by the community. The company will have four directors: two appointed by the APICRT (James Prescott representing the Tongan community and Feagiai Pili from the Samoan community) one independent appointment (Cook Island businessman Charlie Burrell) and a fourth director, still to be appointed by the National Pacific Radio Trust Board.

Simativa Perese said the network provider would deliver a quality product to Pacific communities and other New Zealanders.

“This is a new company that will draw on the skills and experience of Pacific radio station 531PI Ltd, which has particular expertise in pan-Pacific broadcasting, and is also owned by the Auckland Pacific Island Community Radio Trust. PCN will also be tapping into the vast talents of existing Pacific broadcasters here and overseas, to make the new national network a showcase for Pacific talent, energy and drive.”

“The Board has confidence that Pasefika Communications Network will deliver a fresh and vibrant programme format that will meet the radio network’s objectives. These include providing information and entertainment. It will provide a vehicle for Pacific voices, languages and stories to be heard right across the country by all New Zealanders. The network will be run on a not for profit basis. It is something that Pacific communities have dreamed about for years.”

“The radio network will help Pacific communities link up regionally and nationally to debate topical issues, and to coordinate and organize more effectively. It will also help maintain and strengthen Pacific languages, as well as our music and culture,” said Mark Gosche.

“It will also assist Pacific peoples get information that is relevant and important to them. A strong theme that emerged from the government’s Pacific Capacity Building consultations with Pacific peoples is that many don’t know about existing services and programmes, how to access them and who is eligible for these.

“This government has honoured its commitment to give Pacific communities the mechanism with which to build their capacity, to voice their issues and concerns, and to participate effectively in realizing their aspirations.”

Ends

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