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Skip Navigation LinksHome > About Fresh > What is Access Radio

What is Access Radio?

That’s the sort of question we hear a lot at Fresh FM – as do our colleagues at the other 11 Community Access stations around the country. And we understand… it’s not always easy for people to ‘get’ what we’re all about. So we’ve collated the most frequent questions about what we do and put them together in an easy-to-read format, with straight-forward answers.

More Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t get it – what does ‘Access Radio’ mean?

We are part of the Access Radio sector, and a member of the 12 station Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB). Fresh FM operates independently and is governed by a charitable trust to ensure it retains its local regional focus. New Zealand 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 Broadcasting Act 1989] Also, in June 1989 the Minister of Broadcasting issued a Directive to NZ On Air saying 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.”

So you're a community radio station?

Yes and no. We serve the community, we certainly represent the community and we work hard to develop relationships with community groups, but Access stations do a whole lot more than that. Read more about Access radio here.

Who listens to Fresh FM?

In a nutshell – all sorts of people! We don't target any one group, or any one generation, but strive to provide a range of programmes of some interest to everyone. Access radio has often been described as ‘appointment listening’ – people tend to tune in when there will be something on that especially interests them. We have found that many of Fresh FM’s regular listeners also listen to Radio NZ National. We don’t take part in the commercial radio audience surveys because we’re a totally different form of broadcasting. Our primary purpose is to meet the wide-ranging needs of listeners and programme makers, not advertisers.

Why do you have such a strange mix of shows?

We prefer to call it ‘eclectic and varied’! We take our aim of representing the entire community very seriously and this means our content comes from a broad cross-section of the community at large.

Why don't you get some better announcers?

Every programme maker at Fresh FM is a volunteer, not a professional broadcaster. We represent everyone and this comes across loud and clear. Mistakes are made, voices vary and sometimes our presenters have English as a second (or even third) language – but that's the way Access radio is and we make no apologies for it. In fact, we celebrate that difference.

What happened to that show/presenter I used to really like?

Shows are hosted by volunteers and as in any sector, they come and go. People leave town, choose to take a break, new groups need to be accommodated... so our programme schedule is often adjusted – you can keep up with the current schedule here.

Who chooses your music? And why don't I know most of it?

Show hosts source and choose their own music, although we also use an automated system to fill gaps in the schedule. We have thousands of songs in the system and we play a range of music which echoes the variety of shows we have. Mostly it’s music you won’t hear on any mainstream radio station in New Zealand. We are constantly looking at new releases from artists all over the world. Having said that, Community Access radio stations are not music stations. Our priority is always the other content we have on air.

My group could be interested in hosting a show – what do we have to do?

Simple – drop us a line or give us a call. We’ll tell you how to get started and give every assistance possible. Often, making that first contact can be the hardest part of the process. Many of our current programme makers say they never realised how easy it was or how much fun. If they had, they would have started sooner!

Do you still have a question you would like answered? Please contact us.