A record is readied for play. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
That was the Wellington Ukelele Orchestra with their
cover of the reggae classic Israelites.
It's 5.15 on the One.
Plenty of good music still to come - be sure to tune in to
Eclectro for the best in techno from nine this evening."
The voice, a million miles from the polished hype of
commercial radio, emanates from a booth in offices opposite
the Otago Museum in Cumberland St.
The space is the home of Radio One, which this month reaches
the stately age of 25.
Radio One went to air in early 1984, the country's fifth
student radio station, after a campaign by students and
Among them were members of several top Dunedin bands.
Initial conditions were rudimentary, and broadcasts were
often seat-of-the pants productions.
A University Union office was partitioned into two work
spaces, two cupboard-sized announcers' booths, and a tiny
With no recording studio, advertisements were recorded on
portable equipment in the University's Clubs and Societies
The entire space was only slightly larger than the station's
current main office in the Union's archway annex.
What the station lacked in sophistication, it made up for in
enthusiasm, and the music made it unique in Dunedin.
In the year Radio One went to air, other local stations were
playing hits by Phil Collins and Lionel Ritchie.
The Prime Minister was Robert Muldoon, who had famously
stated four years earlier that New Zealand rock music was
Against this backdrop, Radio One unashamedly included a high
proportion of local content, much of it too rough or
non-commercial for other stations.
Even in pre-quota days the station prided itself on playing
30% New Zealand music.
There was a degree of self-interest in the support from local
musicians, and Radio One was involved in promoting the '80s
burgeoning "Dunedin Sound".