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
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
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
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
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.
Become A Supporter
Fresh FM Radio of the People
What Is Access Radio
Want To Make a Programme
Programmes On Demand
Nelson Studios & Station Administration
Phone: 03 546 9891
Phone: 03 528 6990
Phone: 03 525 8779