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Skip Navigation LinksHome > About Us > Our History

Our Journey 1988 to now

28 years of local stories

Plains FM History - Sarah and Tony

1988:

Community radio station Plains FM goes to air at 5pm on 29th February in the Media Centre at the Christchurch Polytechnic (now CPIT’s NZ Broadcasting School). The first non-English programme is Echo Radio produced by Theo Boekel. Media Centre radio students share the airwaves with myriad community groups, organisations and individuals with a need to have their own independent voice on air.

1989:

Regular Maori radio programming is first heard in Canterbury on Plains FM.
The Community Broadcasters’ Society (CBS) is formed to support broadcasters and give representation on the governing body - The Canterbury Communications Trust.
The Broadcasting Commission begins to fund “access” radio in NZ with an annual grant.
The first Pacifica radio presenter Viliami Halaifonua begins Radio Tonga.

1991:

Airtime Magazine starts with articles and pictures about station life.
The Media Centre gains its own frequency (96.1FM) for its students and Plains FM becomes fully community access radio oriented.
Secondary School Radio Debates begin.

1992:

Plains FM hosts the first national conference for the Association of Community Access Broadcasters Aotearoa/NZ Inc.
Tourist Radio begins in the breakfast slot and KidsFM caters to children in the July School holidays. A health-focused programme Operation Hospital Review results in many submissions to the Canterbury Area Health Board.

1993:

Chinese Voices wins the first NZ Radio Award in the newly-created access radio category.
A programme created to celebrate 100 years of Women’s Suffrage called Women on Air begin and continues for the next 20 years.

1994:

A second production studio opens with financial assistance from Lottery Grants Board, Trust Bank Canterbury and the CBS.
Tama Atu Hau in Niuean wins a NZ Radio Award.

1995:

New logo launched.

1996:

Plains FM produces a week-long celebration of kiwi music which continues each year until NZ On AIR begins their annual NZ Music Month in May 2001.

1997:

Mobile studio broadcasts begin in schools – kicking off at Linwood High School.

1998:

Outwaves celebrates 10 years on air. The first station van is purchased.

To be continued….1999-2016