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Pacific radio stations join forces

30 November 2006

Pacific radio stations join forces

A decision by Pacific community radio stations Radio 531pi and NiuFM to join forces is being welcomed by the government as a move that will strengthen broadcasting for Pacific communities in New Zealand.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Phil Goff say the decision will enable the two stations to pool resources, avoid duplication of programming and enhance the service they both provide to Pacific communities.

"The stations have common objectives and play a valuable role in promoting and maintaining Pacific languages and culture in New Zealand," Steve Maharey said.

"By joining forces they can operate in a way that plays to their individual strengths and reflects and reinforces the best of Pacific culture, news and stories."

The stations will combine under the umbrella of the National Pacific Radio Trust, the government-appointed charitable trust responsible for Niu FM since it was established in 2002.

Phil Goff said he hoped both stations would continue to be an important source of information, discussion and debate for New Zealand's Pacific communities.

"The two stations will continue to provide New Zealanders with access to Pacific cultures and will continue to make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s identity as a Pacific nation."

Niu FM was established in 2002 as the result of a government initiative to strengthen Pacific broadcasting in New Zealand. The network now reaches 85 per cent of the Pacific population from Whangarei to Invercargill.

Radio 531pi was established in 1993 and is owned by the Auckland Pacific Island Community Radio Trust (APICRT). It broadcasts on an AM frequency in the Auckland region.

ENDS

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