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Radio New Zealand To Expand Auckland Operations

Radio New Zealand To Expand Auckland Operations

The Radio New Zealand Board of Governors announced today that Radio New Zealand is to expand its presence in Auckland with an agreement to purchase high profile premises in the central city.

Radio New Zealand has entered into an agreement to purchase 171 Hobson Street for $7.5million. The move follows a recent decision by the public service broadcaster to move Auckland operations to new offices in the building early in 2005. Work on these offices had already commenced when an option to purchase the building outright became available. This offer has been accepted by the Board of Radio New Zealand.

Commenting on the purchase Chairman of the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors, Brian Corban, emphasised the importance of the company’s long term plan to expand services in the Auckland region.

“ This purchase firmly underlines Radio New Zealand’s strategic intention to enhance network services in the Auckland region and will accommodate future growth for public service broadcasting in the country’s largest population centre. “

Radio New Zealand headquarters remain in Wellington but Mr Corban noted the significance of a permanent base in Auckland for the country’s leading public service broadcaster.

“ As Chairman of the Radio New Zealand Board I feel a great personal satisfaction that Radio New Zealand has been restored to a permanent home. It was under my watch as Deputy Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand in the late 80s that Broadcasting House in Durham Lane was sold with the loss of valuable studio facilities. Replacement plans were not followed through at that time and when a building was subsequently secured, it too was lost in the 1995 restructuring of Radio New Zealand. I feel this purchase goes some way to redress the loss of both Radio New Zealand permanent homes in the past. Radio New Zealand will move out from its current anonymous premises in Auckland and can reclaim the public profile it properly deserves. “

The purchase decision follows the introduction and promotion of National Radio on 101.4 FM in Auckland and highlights a commitment to focus on additional profile raising in Auckland outlined in the Radio New Zealand Statement of Intent.

Radio New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Cavanagh said the move recognises that as a public service broadcaster Radio New Zealand must reflect the country’s changing cultural diversity and recognise both the size and multiculturalism of the Auckland population centre as well as its status as the business capital of New Zealand.

“ Auckland is the major New Zealand city by far and our current level of representation is simply not adequate to do that justice. The purchase of premises in central Auckland allows us the freedom to expand and improve our service to the greater Auckland region. “

Peter Cavanagh says the move comes after a year of growth and expansion for Radio New Zealand in the Auckland market.

“ We have added significant staff resources in Auckland this year with the introduction of a Pacific Island correspondent, a general news reporter, a new Maori Affairs reporter, the appointment of an Asian affairs producer, an additional position for Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero, and the establishment of a position for a permanent Auckland producer to work on Nine to Noon with Linda Clark.

“ The latest move to 171 Hobson Street allows the company greater flexibility when considering programming decisions in the future. Radio New Zealand audiences can expect to see an expansion in areas of news and current affairs, with a particular emphasis on cultural, Maori, Pacific Island and Asian affairs, as well as business affairs and Auckland issues generally. “

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