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About Plains FM

Each month Plains FM produces 90 unique radio shows in 20 languages by, for and about real people like you!

We broadcast 24/7 on 96.9FM via a transmitter sited at Sugarloaf on the Port Hills and cover the plains of the mid-Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island/Te Wai Pounamu, from Christchurch city, north to Cheviot, south to Rakaia, west to the Southern Alps, and into Lyttelton Harbour on Banks Peninsula.  Our live stream is available from this website, along with selected podcasts (also available via Apple Podcasts) so we can be heard all over New Zealand and the world.

We provide modern broadcasting facilities for individuals or groups to make and present their own programmes from our studios located on the Ara Institute of Technology campus.

Plains FM 96.9 is governed by a charitable entity called The Canterbury Communications Trust. We receive annual funding support from NZ On AIR but also rely on airtime contributions from users, grants, some sponsorship/advertising and donations.

Community access media supports those who make content ‘by, for and about the community’

Plains FM is one of twelve independent Access entities operating around New Zealand and is a member of the Community Access Media Alliance (CAMA). We are part funded by NZ On Air, to broadcast programming that provides for the interests of specific groups in Section 36c of the Broadcasting Act 1989, which includes women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, minority groups, including ethnic minorities and a range of religious and ethical viewpoints.

Plains FM Broadcast Region

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Our Team

Let us support you with the training you need to create and broadcast your own programme, your own way, and in your language.

Nicki Reece - Station Manager

Nico Reyes - Production Assistant 

Kate Kennedy - Administrator

Pia Titus - Youth Coordinator

Charlie Sierra - Production Coordinator 

Sinclair Gonsalves - Marketing Coordinator 

Frequently Asked Questions

So you are a community station?

Yes we are, but we're more than that! We serve the community by creating a welcoming space for representation, connection, relationship building, creativity and fun!

What do you mean by “access” radio?
We are part of the Access radio sector, and a member of CAMA the Community Access Media Alliance.
NZ on Air assists Access stations financially, with the expectation that we:
"- ensure that a range of broadcasts is available to provide for the interests of women, youth, children, persons with disabilities and minorities in the community, including ethnic minorities" (Section 36(c) of the Act).
In June 1989, the Minister of Broadcasting issued a Directive to NZ On Air that says that "it is part of the general policy of Government in relation to broadcasting that access radio services should be available for a broad range of non-profit community groups
Plains FM’s strategic plan centres on this concept.

Who listens to Plains FM?
All sorts of people! We don't target any one group, or generation, but strive to provide a range of programmes of interest to everyone. If what you hear isn't to your taste, try tuning in later, or another day. Check out what is coming up in our schedule.

Why do you have such a mix of shows?
We call it 'eclectic and varied'! We take our aim of representing the entire community very seriously, and the result is a mix of shows that far exceeds commercial and most community radio stations.

Why do you have shows that I can’t understand?
Migrant communities are a significant part of our community in Canterbury, making up 20% of the population in the region and are specifically named as a priority group for Access Radio representation. We continue to invite all migrant and new settler communities to have a go at making radio, and are constantly delighted at the fresh and exciting shows they bring to our airwaves. Some of our very best shows are presented by migrant groups. Have a listen, you might be surprised!

Why don’t you get some better DJs?
Everyone here is a trained volunteer, not a professional 'radio jock'. We represent everyone. Mistakes can get made, voices vary in their delivery, and often our presenters have English as a second (or third) language - that's the way Access Radio is, and we think this diversity is worth celebrating and representing!
In fact many of our presenters have been finalists or won NZ Radio Awards in the Access Radio categories since 1993.

What happened to my favourite show/presenter?
All shows are hosted by volunteers, and they come and go. People leave town, people choose to take a break, new groups need to be accommodated, so our programme schedule gets adjusted. You can keep up with the latest schedule here.

Who chooses the music?
The show hosts choose their own music, and the station programmers carefully and skillfully select the rest of the music that plays across the schedule between programmes. We don't focus on Top 40, and we're not a rock station. Like the programmes, the music is diverse and we're confident that true music lovers will appreciate our eclectic sound. Of course we're happy to take feedback and we welcome music submissions to or 154 Madras Street, Christchurch 8011.

Can I tune in online?
More and more people choose to listen to content via devices other than the radio. Live streaming is available via this site , just click the Listen Live icon in the top right corner of this page. You can also find us on the popular TuneIn app or subscribe to your favourite show's podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

What if I miss something great?
We replay a number of well-crafted programmes in various timeslots. Check out the current schedule.
Most of our shows are also available as podcasts so users can listen to them on demand, or download them for later listening. Follow the Podcasts link.
Our podcasts are also shared via Apple Podcast.

Do you still have a question you would like answered? Please use our feedback form.


Other Access Radio Stations 03 365 7997 154 Madras Street (on ARA campus)
   New Zealand
Proudly Funded by New Zealand On Air
Proudly Funded by New Zealand On Air