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Radio NZ continues to top commercial rivals

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. 

More by Caleb Allison

Comments and questions

Well deserved. Only thing I listen to.

Morning report is a shadow of its former self. Since Sean Plunket left the interviewers have been pathetic. That FairGo bloke in Auckland has never asked an insightful or penetrating question in his life.

Agree ! And ole Geoff never does the tough ones - so the result is nothing achieved at the end of any important interviews. "We'll have to leave it there" - as he always says...

Nonsense. Most of its personnel sound like and/or are old lefties, their speech standards are poor for a national radio station, and it doesn't give a balanced coverage of important issues.


I agree. I think the other stations have all rusted up due to lack of use.

Just goes to show you that there is demand for quality, local content. And that it deserves to be funded properly by the government.

I think Radio NZ is awesome, but that is hardly the big question raised by this article.

the big question is why does Mr Cavanagh say "pound for pound"? either it means pound as is weight, when "kilo for kilo" would surely be more culturally appropriate, or it means pound as in British currency, when dollar for dollar would be more antipodean.


Thoroughly deserved as a broadcaster of substance and not dependent on the superficiality of personality broadcasting and once-over-lightly "news" that accompanies it. Sean Plunket - where is he now? If only we had it in television than the 15-second, dumbed-down excuse for news we get from TVNZ.

Thoroughly deserved as a broadcaster of substance and not dependent on the superficiality of personality broadcasting and once over lightly "news" that accompanies it. If only we had it in television than the 15 second, dumbed down excuse for news, we get from TVNZ.

"Pound for pound"? Doesn't National Radio cost the tax payers $50-$60 million a year to run? Commercial radio runs on a fraction of that. Sure, they could make better quality radio with taxpayer dollars and no advertising .....

Ah I think you could halve that figure. If I'm correct they only get about $30 million a year - not that much, really, when you consider all they do.

Call it $30 Million, that is still a huge amount, can assure you commercial radio runs on a tiny fraction of that, National Radio would want to be an excellent product for that. No wonder they have had no budget increase ( Concert could go, heard of CDs or iTunes ).

Yes, but commercial radio is sh*t.

In your high brow, lefty opinion ....

Difference being the poor, long suffering tax payer is forced to pay for the indulgent dross we hear on National Radio and waste of money Concert - $50 million buys a lot of hospital beds and class rooms.

Morning moan. I stopped listening after Sean Plunket's departure but along with the independent/alternative stations it does play the best new music and provides music programming that is lacking from the so-called music stations.

Overall, National Radio is great. I do miss Sean Plunket on Morning Report but his loss is made up for by the other excellent presenters who make up the late morning (Ryan) and afternoon (Mora) programmes. I do cringe when it comes to Mary Wilson's Checkpoint programme. Her interviewing style is overly agressive and I am amazed that her guests just don't hang up the phone.

And Plunket's style wasn't that? I think you are being sexist in your analysis.

Radio NZ has help up remarkably well in the face of an anti-intellectual tidal wave that has already swept TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 into oblivion.

As for Sean Plunket, he kind of sold out when he jumped to ZB. Do agree, though, that Geoff Robinson and Simon Mercep need to sharpen their teeth and properly hold our officials to account.