Listening to Radio New Zealand Pacific again is a joy. Glad they are back on the short wave bands this fall.
Recently, you may have read me bemoaning the lack of English language broadcasts on shortwave these days. I have even been going so far to look into real time speech translation.
So, I was thrilled (sadly, my life is boring) when RNZ returned to analog shortwave on September 1st. The old RNZ Internationalis now called Radio New Zealand Pacific, reflecting its offshore service focus. Some new investment from government last May helped with transmitter restoration and upgrades.
You can check their frequency schedule here. Being in western North America, I find their 15,720 kHz signal excellent for evening listening. Alternatively, my early morning reception on 5,980 kHz is also pretty good. In both cases, I can obtain a 50 dB SNR which is almost local broadcast quality.
In the past, RNZI was mainly a rebroadcast of the national domestic service, with a smattering of island features. You will find the new Radio New Zealand Pacific is more focused on the world through a Pacific lens. After all, their value proposition for government is this type of regional service. You can view their daily schedules here.
RNZ, which has been on shortwaves since 1948, has been a mainstay in my SWBC listening over the years. It’s recent hiatus notwithstanding.
Radio New Zealand Pacific – Technical
On the technical side, Radio New Zealand Pacific runs a couple of 100 kW transmitters from Rangitaiki on the North Island. Broadcasts are in analog AM, as well as some DRM.
Antennas are multi-dipole curtain arrays covering 5.95 to 17.9 MHz with around 20 dBi gain. For me, the 35º beam to the north east is perfect for reception in western Canada. Typically, signals arrive with two hops from F2 layers.
Pretty amazing reception after a 12,000 kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean.