A British company with links to a pirate radio station which
once broadcast from a ship in the North Sea has acquired a
stake in Radio Puketapu in Palmerston.
Radio Caroline has been bidding for New Zealand radio
frequencies and now owns the AM 756 frequency used by Radio
Radio Puketapu had been off air for three and a-half weeks to
allow time for negotiations between Radio Caroline and the
volunteer-operated Palmerston station, technical spokesman
for Radio Puketapu Lawrence McCraw said.
Radio Puketapu started beaming out to East Otago again last
Wednesday. Radio Caroline is also seeking frequencies in
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to add to its
Palmerston frequency, Mr McCraw said.
Radio Caroline is believed to have bid unsuccessfully for
other New Zealand radio frequencies in the last tender round
earlier this year.
Radio Caroline is distantly linked to Radio Caroline, the
first pirate radio station to operate in international
waters, which broadcast to the United Kingdom more than 40
The organisation is now believed to be based in Tenerife in
the Canary Islands.
Radio Caroline has not responded to emails from the Otago
Daily Times seeking information about its plans for
expansion in New Zealand.
The Radio Puketapu programme will run during the day from the
Palmerston station and the Radio Caroline programme will beam
out at night, It is also hoped to broadcast the Radio
Puketapu night programme on an FM frequency, initially from
Palmerston and later from Waikouaiti, Mr McCraw said.
Radio Caroline plans to set up a Community Club website for
its Radio Caroline and Radio Puketapu listeners.
The changeover had cost Radio Puketapu $5000 for new
equipment and partial rebuilding of its Palmerston studio.