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Government helps Kiwi FM stay on the airwaves

1 May 2006

Government helps Kiwi FM stay on the airwaves

The government will grant Kiwi FM access to new FM frequencies, under an agreement that will help the 100 percent Kiwi music station stay on the airwaves, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

"The government is committed to working with radio broadcasters to grow New Zealand music," Steve Maharey said. "We support the concept of a station that plays 100 percent Kiwi music, and we're keen that it has the opportunity to develop and expand the range of Kiwi music it plays.

Steve Maharey said the station had been granted the use of three FM frequencies for an initial period of one year, during which time it would work towards becoming a not-for-profit organisation.

"Kiwi FM will take up the new frequencies from July. They will be Auckland 102.2FM, Wellington 102.1FM and Christchurch 102.5FM. As part of the agreement to use the frequencies, the station's brief will be to significantly expand its content to include a greater range of New Zealand Music.

"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."

Kiwi FM was launched by CanWest MediaWorks in February 2005 and is currently the only radio station that currently plays 100 percent Kiwi music.

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.

CanWest CEO Brent Impey welcomed the announcement: "CanWest has long been a strong supporter of Kiwi Music. Kiwi FM was launched a year ago to enhance this support. This agreement puts Kiwi in a positive position for the future."

Award-winning author and radio broadcaster, Karyn Hay is new General Manager of Kiwi FM. The announcement comes at the start of NZ Music month, launched yesterday by Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister, Judith Tizard.

ENDS

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