18 Jun 2000

Hauraki at Sea: The beginnings of private radio

From the collecton Resounding Radio

The dramatic story of the Hauraki pirates and their stormy start both ashore and at sea in the late 1960s.

Programme contents

0' 00" Actuality: Pirate radio ship MV Tiri aground off Great Barrier island, night of 28 January 1968. Paul Lineham

1' 50" NZBC responsible for issuing radio licences after 1962 but does little to set up competition against itself.

2' 25" Actuality: Radio Hauraki.

2' 40" Older politicians don't like young people bucking radio system. Derek Lowe

3' 07" Pirates keep plans secret from politicians and officials because control of broadcasting at stake. Derek Lowe

3' 40" Mid 1960s time of change. Post-war generation challenging old ways.

4' 25" Pirate radio seems easy – just get some money arid a boat. MV Tiri found but is dilapidated hulk and needs much work. (Speakers for rest of programme are mostly undesignated)

6' 15" Poor condition of Tiri used to delay pirates by Marine Department.

6' 25" Key role of Jack Scott, Minister of Broadcasting, Marine, and Postmaster General.

7' 10" Scott unofficially on pirate's side. Would help but has to be seen to toe government line.

7' 55" Description of upgrading and equipment needed on Tiri.

9' 00" Transmitter kept hidden. Exciting adventure.

9' 50" Pirates get financial support but also need to keep public interested.

10' 55" Never going to get seaworthy certificate so decide to put to sea anyway.

11' 10" Dramatic story of attempt to sail out of Auckland harbour but run aground at low tide and police lower viaduct to block Tiri. Brawl on board with police. Large crowd of pirate supporters. Tiri sails but arrested by police launch. Crowd harass police.

18' 10" Crowd at waterfront probably New Zealand's first mass youth protest.

18' 35" Humiliating processing at Auckland police station. Bail granted. Pie cart story. Court appearance pending.

20' 35" Auckland Town Hall emotive public meeting in support of pirates. Near riot at bottom of Queen St.

23' 00" Pirates win court case and Tiri sails quietly for Hauraki Gulf.

24' 05" Actuality: Test transmission from Tiri. Good signal and plenty positive audience feedback.

26' 20" Tough conditions at sea take toll of transmitter masts.

27' 05" Lead-up and grounding of Tiri off Great Barrier island.

28' 20" Actuality: Radio Hauraki describing Tiri's plight on rocks and abandon ship. Paul Lineham

30' 40" Actuality: Hauraki on rocks – (unique in annals of our radio history.)

31' 30" Back to square one. Tiri is beyond repair. New ship supplied by financial backer Jim Frankham and one month later Tiri 2 back at sea.

32' 10" Actuality: Radio Hauraki.

32' 45" Description of Tiri 2 hit by Wahine storm 10 April 1968.

35' 30" Smooth sailing for next 15 months but still arguing case for a land licence. Government finally introduces legislation making Hauraki legal.

36' 20" Actuality: On air goodbyes Born Free sung by Matt Munro at end of Hauraki's last day at sea 1 June 1970 after one hundred and eleven days at sea. Ian Magan

36' 45" 2 June 1970 Hauraki disc jockey Rick Grant falls overboard and is drowned as Tiri 2 returns to land for Mayoral Reception.

37' 55" Hauraki starts broadcasting legally from land in August 1970.