How Radio Hauraki Really Got Its Name
Top of the Dial on the Tiri II
© John Monks
I remember it well - that Friday night in 1965. I had been working late and my (then) fiancé
Chris Parkinson, and our good friend Derek Lowe, had been chatting over dinner at the well-known
Auckland restaurant, El Matador. They arrived to pick me up, both very excited with a decision
which they had come to - "We have decided to start a Pirate Station - what do you think?" they asked.
I was definitely all for it as a great many hours had been spent talking about such an idea in the
little office I worked in at Mascot-Viking Recording Studios. Actors, Radio Announcers and Technicians
alike had thrown ideas around about how we could get the music played on air that we wanted to hear instead
of the dull music and presentation which had been served up by government controlled radio
stations for years.
We headed off to Derek's flat in Mt. Eden where we chatted into the wee small hours re-hashing some of
the ideas which had previously been discussed. We finally settled on one - to sail a Chinese Junk into a
position just outside of the territorial waters of New Zealand - here we would set up the boat with a transmitter
and studio and take New Zealand by storm. Radio the way it should sound - exciting, enthusiastic and playing
the music we wanted to hear!
It all sounded so easy. I kept the coffee coming as Derek and Chris went over the finer details.
Derek had a nautical map so this was laid out and we pin-pointed the closest 'legal' position. That
found, we looked at one another - "What should we call it?" Various ideas came to mind, then someone
said - "Well it's in the Hauraki Gulf so why not Radio Hauraki". It sounded perfect - it was perfect.
Like naming a baby - we all agreed on the name - and the Radio Hauraki baby had been conceived.
Painting the name on the Tiri II
© John Monks
Of course the concept of the Chinese Junk didn’t go ahead - and lots changed in that we merged with David
Gapes and Dennis O'Callahan who were also working along similar lines and who already had a boat - the Tiri.
But the name stuck and after all these years it is still Radio Hauraki. A bit like all parents, we watch over the
station's evolution - sometimes a bit confused at decisions made but in the main, proud to see Radio Hauraki still
there after almost 50 years.