Radio New Zealand National – the country's only ad-free state broadcaster – has again beaten its commercial rivals to claim the most popular radio station in the country.
Despite its financial constraints by having not had a funding increase since 2007, the station says it has a 10.5% of station share nationwide, ahead of its nearest commercial rival at 8.9%, according to just-released Nielsen research figures.
During the week about 476,000 people tune into a Radio NZ National programme.
The station says its flagship programme, Morning Report, is also the most popular programme, drawing in an average of 342,000 weekly listeners.
"Pound for pound, New Zealand is the most competitive radio market anywhere in the world, with more radio stations per capita than any other country," chief executive Peter Cavanagh says.
"For a national broadcaster like Radio New Zealand, with a strong focus on in-depth news and information programming, to be the country's No 1radio station is a truly remarkable achievement."
Radio NZ says most of its other major programmes – including Nine to Noon, Jim Mora's The Panel and Checkpoint – were also ranked No 1.
The twice-yearly commercial radio survey, which regularly features Newstalk ZB in its top spot, excludes Radio NZ's audience because it is not considered to be part of the advertising market.
The nationwide Nielsen survey is conducted over a 40-week period between February and November, while the commercial survey is only conducted twice a year in six-week blocks.