Auckland Radio 1980-1993


On 3 June, the Post Office Regional Engineer wrote to the Manukau City Council requesting approval to replace two existing 46m towers at the Auckland Radio transmitter site in Oliver Road with two new 40m towers. This was almost two years after DF Ervine, Overseer Lines, had expressed serious concerns about the safety of the 40-year-old towers in a letter to the Divisional Engineer.

Two new consoles with electronic switching were installed in the radiotelephone room.

Operators Ian Shackleton and Chris Silk man the two new consoles.
Operators Ian Shackleton and Chris Silk man the two new consoles with electronic switching.

New Zealand Post Office published the booklet Coast Radio Station Service.

Auckland Radio at Musick Point, c1983
Auckland Radio at Musick Point. From the 1983 NZPO booklet Coast Radio Station Service

“Auckland Radio exchanges traffic on medium, high and very high frequencies with vessels around the New Zealand coast. Access to the internal and international telegraph networks is also available from Auckland Radio.

Present day services cover 24-hour distress watches on 500 kHz, 2182 kHz, 4125 kHz, 6215.5 kHz and Channel 16 VHF. Includes in these services are normal exchange of traffic with ships at sea, radiomedical service, radiotelephone call bookings, meteorological and navigational warnings.”

– New Zealand Post Office: Coast Radio Station Service (1983)

Chris Silk at Auckland Radio broadcasts a meteorological warning to ships on single sideband
Chris Silk broadcasts a meteorological warning to ships on single sideband from Auckland Radio. Photo: 1983 NZPO booklet Coast Radio Station Service

An episode of the TV series Terry and the Gunrunners was shot at Musick Memorial Radio Station.

On 15 May a work order was signed, to “remove, dismantle and regalvanise” eight towers at the Auckland Radio transmitting and receiving sites. No mention was made of reinstalling the towers.

Auckland Radio ZLD operator Cilla Hardy
Auckland Radio ZLD operator Cilla Hardy, running 500 kHz radiotelegraphy at Console 3 in the West Operating room. Remote controls for the 1kW Dansk transmitter are at the bottom right of the photo. Just above the Dansk panel are the remote controls for the 1kW solid-state Nautel transmitter. The buttons with the amber lights, were for selecting 487, 500 or 512 kHz. Date unknown.
Auckland Radio ZLD operator Iggy Pak
Auckland Radio ZLD operator Ignacy (Iggy) Pak, who had previously worked at ZLB and ZLD. He stayed at ZLD until its closure in 1993, then moved to Wellington to work for Taupo Maritime Radio ZLM. He moved to Australia in 2002. Date unknown.
An operator at Auckland Radio ZLD
Auckland Radio ZLD operator Ken Jenner had been an operator aboard trains in Canada. Ken died in 2009. Date unknown.

Auckland Radio announcing a gale warning on 500kHz. Date unknown.

Musick Memorial Radio Station aerial view c1986
This photograph of Musick Memorial Radio Station was probably commissioned c1986 by Manukau City Council for publicity purposes. The text on the back of the postcard reads: “Musick Point, Bucklands Beach, Manukau City. A superb public open space of historical, archaeological, and visual significance to Manukau and the Auckland Region.” Source: Auckland Libraries Footprints Collections

On 3 April the Government released the Morris-Mason review of the Post Office, which recommended, among other things, that telecommunications be run by a separate state corporation.

On 19 May, Finance Minister Roger Douglas announced that the Post Office would be split into three state-owned enterprises: New Zealand Post, Telecom (which would take over the coast radio stations) and Postbank, effective 1 Apr 1987.


Auckland Radio ZLD handled radio communications for yachts competing in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round-the-World race.

Dave Currie became station manager on 15 Feb.


Auckland Radio staff had a little fun with the top-secret SADIE aerial.

Auckland Radio manager Dave Currie won a Telecom Networks & International competition to guess radio operator Tony Graham’s time in cycling time trials. During his time at Auckland Radio, Tony represented New Zealand in cycling at the 1987 Oceania Games in Noumea, the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the 1989 World Championships in Lyon and the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

Tony Graham's road bike on top of his Triumph 2500 TC car at Musick Point, c1990.
Tony Graham’s road bike on top of his Triumph 2500 TC car at Musick Point, c1990. Photo: Tony Graham

A reunion was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the official opening of Musick Memorial Radio Station.


Audio: Container ship Flinders Bay – GYSA calls Auckland Radio – ZLD on 500 kHz
Recorded by radio officer Roger Wincer aboard the inter-island ferry Arahura – ZMBS
(links to audio file on Roger Wincer’s website)

Dave Currie, Manager of Auckland Radio 15 Feb 1989 – 30 Sep 1993
Dave Currie, Manager of Auckland Radio from 15 Feb 1989 to 30 Sep 1993, pictured in 1993. On the shelf is a Japanese-made JRC NRD-515 all-wave receiver, with an optional memory unit and speaker. These solid-state receivers replaced the Collins 51S-1 units at NZ coast stations. Photo: Paul Tolenaars

On 31 October New Zealand’s last remaining coast stations, Auckland Radio ZLD and Wellington Radio ZLW, closed forever.

» 1993 – Now

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