How we work with the Ministry for Business, Innovation and EmploymentWe allocate and monitor radio broadcasting licences in consultation with the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE is responsible for the administration of the Radiocommunication Act 1989. Under this Act, MBIE manages radio spectrum and the register of radio frequencies.We have a Memorandum of Understanding with MBIE relating to agreed protocols for consultation relating to radio broadcasting matters, including community licences.Availability of licencesNew community licences rarely become available but when one does, we will advertise it on our website and other relevant channels.For more information on radio licensing, including available commercial licences and low power FM broadcasting, visit the Radio Spectrum Management’s website.Radio Spectrum ManagementGovernance of licencesWhen a new licence is available and can be allocated, the Government’s Regional and Community Broadcasting Policy Framework 2019 dictates who is eligible.Regional and community broadcasting policy framework and terms and conditions (2019)PurposeThe purpose of the Regional and community broadcasting framework (the Framework) is to:act as the foundation for making decisions when allocating radio licencesensure decisions are aligned to Government’s media goals and objectivesprovide the objectives for broadcasting services aimed at New Zealand’s diverse communities.Principles for the FrameworkThe framework will be guided by the following principles:support diverse communities to participate in and contribute to New Zealand’s national identityimprove access to quality New Zealand content on a range of platformsestablish a fair and transparent process for allocating radio licences.GoalsThe Framework’s two goals are:To enable a range of broadcasting services to be provided to New Zealand’s diverse audiencesTo allocate non-commercial radio licences to providers of radio services who can demonstrate the ability to deliver content on a range of platforms appropriate to their audiencesObjectivesThe Framework’s three objectives are:Promote local broadcasting services – ensure there are suitable regional and community options among the general broadcast services available to New Zealand audiences to:assist coverage of regional news, current affairs, information, local music, sport, and cultural eventsreach underserved regional, local, and community populations and ethnic, linguistic, and other minority groups with shared interestsensure providers are owned and operated independently from national commercial networks.Promote innovation and a diverse range of content and formats for different audience identities and interests –provide a policy base for non-commercial licence allocation, which complements what the market already provides, byensuring a robust, independent frequency allocation processfocusing allocation on applicants who have proven media expertise, and access to sustainable funding sourcesrequiring applicants to demonstrate strong involvement with their community and community activities.Align government approaches and monitor appropriatelyprovide clarity around Government expectations, and guidance to non-commercial licence holders and applicantsalign over-arching policy and NZ On Air policy, while respecting the independence of the funderprovide clarity on the Ministry’s monitoring role.Terms and conditions for non-commercial radio broadcasting licencesConditions‘Non-commercial’ radio licences will only be issued to operators that:show a strong geographic, social demographic or community of interest connection with the target audience, with programming focused on the needs and interests of the audiences they servehave a physical presence within the coverage areaoffer a service that runs for at least 12 hours a day for the period of the agreement, unless negotiated otherwise.The licensee will operate for the term/period/duration agreed to under its agreement with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.If there is any doubt around the interpretation of the terms and criteria provided below, the decision of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will be final.CriteriaEligibilityThe licensee must be able to show that the broadcasts fulfil community needs, as defined in the 2019 Regional and community broadcasting policy framework, and that they don’t duplicate existing formats available in the region.This means that the non-commercial radio broadcast operation:+offers services that complement existing “for profit’ services rather than duplicate themincreases the diversity of programme choice for New Zealand’s diverse communitiesprovides access for local and regional programme makers and/or content for communities of interest.Entity type and managementThe licensee must be a company or an incorporated society or charitable trust or other entity, any of which must be operated on a charitable or 'not-for-profit' basis. Members of the governing body may not directly profit from the enterprise.Staff may not be paid any more than the industry standard for work of a similar nature, and the broadcast operation is not to be mainly used to raise funds for charity.The licensee must be able to show that it has the technical and financial capacity to fulfill the broadcasting outcomes in the proposal. The proposal will need to clearly indicate financial viability to operate a radio station assuming government funding may not be available.RevenueThe licensee must be able to confirm it has a fundraising mechanism that allows it to function with no more than six minutes of commercials per clock hour, and no more than 50% of revenue derived from advertising. Other income may include sponsorship.The licensee should also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the potential changes in the broadcasting environment and its ability to adapt to these changes.ContentThe service should include programming designed to cater for its target audience and/or a variety of audiences in the coverage area, with a focus on previously unmet needs and interests of listeners.It must include some or all of the following content broadcast from within the coverage area:local news, information, stories and historydiscussion of community issues, including political processespublic media to inform, entertain and involve a specified or under-served local community or communities of interest.Where possible, the licensee should demonstrate they have established and maintained working relationships with a broad variety of groups within their communities.ComplianceThe licensee must be able to show that its broadcast operations have sufficient accountability mechanisms to ensure that it delivers on its contractual undertakings to provide services. These arrangements include:Evidence of professional systems to ensure efficient operations and financial managementprovision of satisfactory services to the target audience/s.The licensee will submit an annual compliance report to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, not less than three months after each anniversary of the granting of the licence, demonstrating that licence conditions are being adhered to.The report should include:relevant financial and ownership information including financial statementsa full list of shareholders, directors, board members and/or trustees, as appropriatedetails of content priorities delivered in that year.The licensee will make a copy of each annual compliance report available to the general public, including on its website if it has one, for at least three years from the original publication date. All non-commercial radio licences will be subject to a licence agreement between the licensee, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. All licensees must comply with the requirements of the Broadcasting Act 1989 and the Broadcasting and Advertising Codes issued by the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority respectively.All radio broadcast licences are subject to the provisions of the Radiocommunications Act 1989 and the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001. Where a compliance issue can’t be referenced directly to the Act or Regulations, the terms and conditions contained in this document will apply. In all cases, the decision of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment will be final.The licensee must agree to a compliance audit being done at any time.Non-complianceNon-compliance applies to all of the conditions and criteria contained in this document.If found to be non-compliant, the licensee will be served with a written notice by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, with a requirement to be compliant within a specified period.If non-compliance continues, the licence may be revoked by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment without financial compensation 30 days after the licence holder has been informed by a final notice and fails to remedy the situation. Any future licence applications from the same or any associated applicant may be refused.Licence renewals/extensionsAll applications for renewals of a radio broadcast licence must be accompanied by enough evidence to verify that non-commercial licence agreement conditions have been met. Licensees also need to provide the Ministry for Culture and Heritage with two of the most recent annual compliance reports referred to above.Unless the period is specifically extended by the Ministry, licensees must begin radio services within one year of being allocated a frequency, and must maintain services or face having their licence revoked, without refund of any relevant fees.Dealing with complaintsThe licensee must respond in writing to individual complaints relating to the terms of the licence agreement, within 21 days of receiving the complaint. Such complaints may include for example, matters relating to airtime allocations and community involvement.Copies of the complaint and response need to be sent to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage may investigate further, including a compliance audit, if necessary. This does not include content complaints, which must be determined within 20 days in accordance with Broadcasting Standards Authority guidelines.TransferabilityLicensees may not transfer, modify, lease or share the frequency, or otherwise surrender control of transmissions on the licence, without permission in writing from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.When an agreement has been reached with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage that allows an entity other than the original licence holder to operate the licence, the original licence holder may still be required to maintain responsibility for the conduct and programming of the station to ensure adherence to the purposes and licence agreement for which the licence was issued in the first place.The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment will retain the right to modify, transfer or revoke the licence in terms of the Radiocommunications Act 1989.The licensee may voluntarily relinquish the licence to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage if it is no longer able to meet the eligibility and operational criteria.Footnotes The Framework applies to regional, local, community and minority audiences, including ethnic minorities, communities of interest, youth and underserved communities. Government’s media objectives are: Support more quality NZ content in all genres across a variety of platforms; Better cater to Māori; Pacific and other under-served audiences; Enhance national identity; Promote an informed democracy; Safeguard media independence; Support plurality in news and current affairs. The annual fee is under Schedule 6 of the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001.Terms and conditions for local FM radio broadcasting licencesCommunity licence holders must comply with the following terms and conditions.Principles1. The policy underlying this allocation is contained in the Regional and Community Broadcasting Policy Framework of 2006.2. Particular priorities for local non-commercial community services are to provide licences for:the provision of community access radio services where either a service does not already exist or where the coverage from an existing community access service in the area is compromised for technical reasons. existing services that will relinquish AM for FM frequencies.new services for communities of interest, including network services.3. As a general principle, the owners of a community radio broadcasting station must:demonstrate a strong geographic, social or cultural affinity with the target audience;locate the offices and studios of the radio station operating under the licence within the coverage area;4. As a general principle, the owners of a community radio licence must:have no interest in other radio broadcasting licences and have no economic, contractual, operational, or family associations with holders of such licences;broadcast identifiably ‘local’ content from the studio to the coverage area during peak hours (0600hrs to 1000hrs and 1600hrs to 1900hrs).5. Where there is any doubt as to interpretation of these principles or of the Terms and Conditions set out below, the decision of Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment or the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as the case may be, will be final.Eligibility6.The licence is to be registered in the name of a natural person or persons, or a legal entity owned or governed by a natural person or persons (“the owner”), normally resident in the coverage area for which the licence is held. This condition must be maintained throughout the term of the licence. The inclusion of the owner in the Electoral Roll for an electorate substantially within the coverage area will be accepted as evidence of normal residence.7. The applicant is to demonstrate, in the application, the technical and financial capacity available to it to fulfil the outcomes of the proposal.8. Applications are to demonstrate an understanding of the future broadcasting environment of the local community, including possible digital and multi-media applications.9.All applications and annual reports will contain a full list of shareholders, directors, board members and/or trustees as appropriate.Additional Requirements for Non-commercial Community Licences10.The applicant is to be a company, or an incorporated society or charitable trust or other entity, any of which must be operated on a charitable or “not-for-profit” basis. 11. The applicant is to confirm, in the application for the licence, a fundraising mechanism which will allow it to function with not more than six minutes of commercials per clock hour and no more than 50% of revenue derived from advertising. Other income may include sponsorship (as defined by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in 2006).12. The applicant is to demonstrate, in the application for the licence, the extent to which they will fulfil a priority community need (or needs), as defined in the Regional and Community Broadcasting Framework Policy Framework, and which does not duplicate existing services.Operations13.The station’s office and studio operations are to be located in the physical area within the coverage of the licence.14. The service must operate for a minimum of 12 hours daily (unless otherwise negotiated).15. Non-commercial community broadcasters, could meet this latter requirement by arrangements with other community broadcasters on the sharing of New Zealand material which would not otherwise be broadcast in the area.16. The licensee will establish and maintain working relationships with such significant groups within the local community as territorial and regional government, emergency management, iwi and runanga, educational institutions, youth and community groups, and organisations for the disabled and will facilitate the provision of relevant content from such organisations.Additional Requirements for Non-commercial Community Licences17.Under a non-commercial community licence, locally generated programming shall be designed to attract a wide range of listening audiences in the coverage area with a focus on previously unmet needs and interests of listeners, and include some or all of the following content broadcast from within the coverage area:local news, information, stories and history;discussion of community issues, including political processes;programming aimed to inform, entertain and involve a specified or under-served local community or communities of interest.Compliance18. All applications for a licence must be accompanied by sufficient evidence to verify that conditions 6, 7, 8 and 9 (and, for commercial licences, 10 and 11) have been met. These conditions are to be reconfirmed annually in a compliance report, not less than three months before the anniversary of the licence being granted.19. A licensee will commence broadcasting services within one year of obtaining the licence or face revocation of the licence without refund.20. All licensees will comply with the requirements of the Broadcasting Act and Broadcasting Standards Authority regarding station identification, codes of broadcasting practice and complaints procedures.21. The licensee will agree to a compliance audit being conducted at any time to demonstrate that allocation conditions are being adhered to.22. The licensee shall respond in writing to individual complaints received or referred to them within 21 days of receipt and shall provide copies of the complaint and response to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment or the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as appropriate. The relevant Chief Executive may undertake further investigation, including a compliance audit, as seen necessary. 23. The Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment will retain the right to modify, transfer, or revoke the licence in terms of the Radiocommunications Act 1989.24. All licences are subject to the provisions of the Radiocommunications Act 1989 and the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001. Where a compliance issue can not be referenced directly to the Act or Regulations, these Terms and Conditions will apply. In all cases, the decision of the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment will be final.Additional Requirements for Non-commercial Community Licences25. The licensee will submit to the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, not less than three months before each anniversary of the granting of the licence, a compliance report demonstrating that licence conditions are being adhered to, including relevant financial and ownership information.26. The licensee will make a copy of each annual compliance report available to the general public for at least three years from the original publication date. 27.Staff may not be paid any more than the industry standard for work of similar duties.28. Members of the governing body may not directly profit from the enterprise.29. The radio operation shall not be primarily intended to raise funds for charity.30. A non-commercial community licensee may not transfer, modify, lease or share the frequency, or otherwise surrender control of transmissions on the licence, without permission in writing from the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.Non-compliance31. The licensee may voluntarily relinquish the licence to the Crown if it is no longer able to meet the eligibility and operational criteria.32. If found to be non-compliant, the licensee will be served with a written notice (warning) by the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment or the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as appropriate, with a requirement to be compliant within a specified period.33. For continuing non-compliance a licence may be revoked by the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment without financial compensation, and future licence applications from the same or any associated applicant refused.More informationContact us if you have any questions: [email protected]List of community broadcastersThe following table provides the list of community (non-commercial) radio stations, their locations in New Zealand and their broadcast frequencies.This information is current as at October 2023.Radio stationLocationBroadcast frequencyCommunity accessAccess Radio TaranakiNew Plymouth104.4 FMArrow FMMasterton and Wairarapa92.7 FMCoast Access RadioKāpiti and Horowhenua104.7 FMFree FMHamilton89 FMFresh FMNelson-Tasman and MarlboroughNelson-Tasman – 104.8 FM Takaka – 95 FM Blenheim – 88.9 FMManawatū People’s RadioPalmerston North999 AMPlanet FMAuckland104.6 FMOtago Access RadioDunedin105.4 FM 1575 AMPlains FMChristchurch96.9 FMRadio Hawkes BayNapier1431 AM 104.7 FMWellington Access RadioWellington106.1 FMStudent radiobFMAuckland95 FMRadioActive.FMWellington88.6 FMRadio ControlPalmerston North99.4 FMRadio OneDunedin91 FMRDUChristchurch98.5 FMOther community broadcastersAuckland Radio TrustAuckland810 AMCompass FMNorth Canterbury103.7 FM 104.9 FMGood News Radio – Rotorua GospelRotorua104.7 FMRadio FerrymeadCanterbury1413 AMRhema*Country-wideView its list of frequencies from Kaitaia to Invercargill on its websiteVillage RadioTauranga1368 AM*Rhema operate a large network of frequencies that are both non-commercial and commercial.