About Access Radio....
Access Radio's history begins in 1981 when Radio New Zealand pioneered the format using downtime on station 2YB, the frequency reserved for broadcasting live the proceedings of parliament. Cindy Beavis was the first manager and the station began by broadcasting a three hour programme each Saturday morning. An interesting variation was introduced in 1986 when a small Radio New Zealand commercial station in Masterton provided a two hour access slot for community originated programmes to be broadcast on Sunday evenings from 8.00pm. The first independent access radio station was Plains FM which began intermittent broadcasts in 1986 and full time broadcasting in 1988. Auckland quickly followed and by 1991 there were access stations in Dunedin, Invercargill and Hamilton. Later, Palmerston North, Nelson, and the Hawkes Bay joined the format and then Kapiti Coast. The newest member of the 'family' began broadcasting in New Plymouth in 2010.
‘By’, ‘for’ and ‘about’ – are the three essential words in the world of community access broadcasting. ‘For’ and ‘about’ are objectives of all public broadcasters, but the word that sets access broadcasting apart is that little one: ‘by’.
In community access broadcasting the people are at the centre of the process and there is no editor. Throughout New Zealand real people are making local radio that is vital, engaging, representative and unique, reflecting our many cultures and collectives as well as some of our most colourful individuals and interests.
Community access radio is lively, rich, passionate and enthralling radio; an affordable, accessible, and engaging medium that is affective, even transformative in people’s lives. Community access radio stations do not make programmes – they provide the facilities, training and infrastructure that allow citizens to make their own radio. In so doing, access radio stations are both broadcasters and community facilitators.
Around New Zealand 12 community access stations are achieving great things with the communities they serve:
- Through comprehensive training programmes, they are empowering groups with skills and voices that reflect their needs and their identity
- Providing successful settlement outcomes for new New Zealanders
- Preserving language and cultural identity
- Giving voice to unheard groups – particularly those living with disability and minorities
- Airing many hours of youth radio and grey radio services
- Access radio is a conduit for community health and welfare education. It provides exposure to creative communities - especially literature and music, and gives expression to Aotearoa’s many belief systems.
What is ACAB?
The Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB) Aotearoa New Zealand is an national association to which all Community Access radio stations in Aotearoa New Zealand belong.
The aims of the Association are to promote, develop, foster and support Community Access broadcasting in Aotearoa New Zealand. ACAB sees itself primarily as a lobbying and resourcing organisation, however it also exists as a self-support network for the sector and a forum for debate on issues which affect us all.
ACAB Homepage | Contact ACAB