About Us

Free FM is your voice in the media.

Each week we host more than 100 unique community Access radio shows by, for and about real people - like you!  Free FM broadcasts 24/7 Waikato-wide on 89FM, covering the region north of Huntly to south of Tokoroa, and east of Te Aroha to West of Raglan. Our live stream is available from this website, along with selected podcasts (also available via iTunes).

 

Here's what we can do for you:

We offer three main services:

CONNECT- Hear what your community has to say, every day

Listen on 89FM or online at freefm.org.nz for our live stream or on-demand podcasts.

CELEBRATE- Share your stories here

We promote community information for free with on-air interviews and advertising.

CHALLENGE - Make your voice heard

Become a volunteer broadcaster and represent your interests, culture, or beliefs.We provide free training and airtime.

 

More about Access radio

Free FM is one of twelve independent Access radio stations operating around New Zealand, and a member of the Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB). With some support from NZ On Air, Access radio stations provide broadcasting facilities for individuals or groups not otherwise heard in mainstream media.

Access radio is in essence "radio by the people for the people", where the freedom of expression of ideas, values and beliefs is valued and protected.  All Access stations work to the criteria expressed in Section 36c of the Broadcasting Act 1989, which states;

"Access Radio air-time priority must be given to programmes by, for and about women, children, disadvantaged and disabled people, minority groups including ethnic minorities, youth, spiritual and non-profit making community groups who would not otherwise have the opportunity to make and present their own programmes."

To learn more about Access radio, visit the ACAB website.

 

Free FM - 20 years strong

Free FM (formerly known as "Community Radio Hamilton") began broadcasting on the 7th of December 1991 from a small studio located in Collingwood Street, Hamilton. At that stage the Station broadcast for only a few hours per day, with a limited range of shows.
 
In 1993 Free FM relocated to the current larger premises in upper Collingwood Street, allowing for increased office and production space.

On the 21st of December 2001 the Prime minister, Helen Clark attended a function to open a second studio for broadcast and production work, and to help celebrate the Station's 10th anniversary. 

In 2003 Free FM underwent significant change with the adoption of a new strategic plan, introducing new management roles and a new focus on delivering a more diverse range of programmes and greater community involvement.

In February 2005 the Station launched a low-power 106.7FM frequency within Hamilton city, giving listeners greater choice and making Free FM a viable listening choice for a generation of listeners for whom AM radio is a relic of the past.  This launch coincided with the launch of a new Station logo pictured below.

Late 2006 saw the first phase of our Internet Broadcasting Strategy, the launch of our live stream, thanks to assistance from the Digital Strategy Community Partnership fund. This was supplemented with the launch of on-demand podcasts in July 2007, making our programming available to a global audience. 

In March 2008 we launched the 'Free Speech in any language' campaign, raising awareness of the important place Access Radio holds in allowing our communities to speak openly and freely. The high point of the campaign was the first of several Open Day events on 5 April.


On October 2011, and after several years of lobbying, Free FM was allocated Hamilton's 89FM frequency by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.  A substantial fundraising campaign raised more than $100,000 to complete the project with the new frequency launched by Prime Minister John Key along with a new Station name and logo on 1 August 2012.

 

 

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