The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has confirmed the allocation of a new FM radio licence for non-commercial use in the Hamilton area.
The successful applicant is the Waikato Community Broadcasting Charitable Trust (WCBCT), which is the current Hamilton Access station broadcasting on AM and low power FM. The panel responsible for assessing the applications decided that the application from WCBCT best met the criteria for non-commercial community broadcasting in the area. The application demonstrated a commitment to local broadcasting and diversity and as an existing community broadcaster, WCBCT has already demonstrated its viability.
As a condition of the FM licence, WCBCT must relinquish its AM licence after a suitable period of transition. The AM licence may then be allocated to another broadcaster following a call for expressions of interest.
The panel also considered applications for frequencies in Tauranga and Invercargill but was not satisfied that any of the applicants had fulfilled the licence criteria at this time.
Local non-commercial licences are allocated free-of-charge through the Ministry. However, licence-holders must comply with specified requirements and responsibilities. These include restricting on-air advertising to no more than six minutes per clock hour, and deriving no more than 50 per cent of income from direct advertising.