2ZW The Voice of the Capital City
The first B licence issued to a New Zealand broadcaster was to 2ZW
Wellington, which began operations on May 20 1931 at 1120 on the AM
The Men behind 2ZW
A group of local businessmen led by Mr R H Nimmo established 2ZW to
bring 'free' radio [free in that listeners were not paying a licence
fee for the stations programs] to Wellington.
They managed to circumvent advertising restrictions by finding
sponsors for nearly every program on the station, such as local
department store Kirkcaldie & Stains [from whose tea rooms there was
a weekly music program], and the Plume Melody Makers who were
sponsored by the Vacuum Oil Company.
The Plume Melody Makers
Within a few years, 2ZW fell silent after compulsory nationalization
by the New Zealand government which wanted only state run radio to
continue, and it would be some 40 years before a new commercial radio
station, Radio Windy, brought back freedom to the airwaves in the
In the meantime, 2ZW has been almost forgotten. We're delighted to
help Wellington celebrate the 80th anniversary of 2ZW The Voice of
the Capital City in 2011 and bring back old memories. Radio has been
building business in the capital for longer than most people know.
Nimmos Building on Willis Street, home of 2ZW
The Nimmos Building on Willis Street in the center of Wellington
still stands, and on quiet nights, it's still possible to imagine
hearing the voices, the music and the dreams, of those early radio
pioneers to whom we owe so much.
2ZW features in one of the 2011 mini-campaigns for the Kiwi Radio
Campaign building awareness and support in Wellington and you'll also
find more about the complete New Zealand radio scene in the very
popular feature New Zealand Radio Dial 1931. If you have any
memories or memorabilia about 2ZW Wellington to share we'd love to
hear from you.
Postcard celebrating 2ZW The Voice of the Capital City 1931-2011