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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.





The first Post Office radio station began in the tower of the General Post Office, Wellington, in 1911, being transferred to Tinakori Hill, Wellington, in 1912. Here its range was greatly increased and it became New Zealand's main transmitting station. A radio station was opened at Auckland in 1912 and another at Awarua, a few miles from Invercargill, a year later. After the disastrous earthquake of 1931 had cut telegraph communications, the Post Office established emergency radio services between main centres. The Post Office also uses radio to communicate with the off-shore islands. Makara Radio Station, 11 miles from Wellington, was opened in 1944. It is the main radio-receiving station for overseas radiotelegraph, radiotelephone and radio-photo services. Himatangi Radio Station, near Foxton, which was opened in 1953, is the transmitting counterpart of Makara Radio. A mobile radio service began in 1948 to give two-way radio communications for taxis, ambulances, fire engines, etc.

Post Office Administration of Radio

The Post Office administers both international and internal radio regulations. It registers call signs for all New Zealand controlled radio services and allocates radio frequencies. It licenses radio and television receivers and radio equipment, including research and private radio stations, and it investigates and eliminates sources of interference to radio and television transmission.

Radio Licences
Year Radio Sets Licensed Mobile Radio Units Licensed
1930 53,407 ..
1940 345,710 ..
1950 449,453 280
1960 577,403 3,891
1963 610,903 7,291
1964 612,933 8,815