Radio Hauraki: 50 years since they told us we couldn’t

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2016 marks a historic milestone for world famous pirate radio station Radio Hauraki. This year the station will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast on December 4, 1966 – from a boat called the Tiri, in the Hauraki Gulf.

The 50th anniversary celebrations kick off this month and run through until December with limited edition t-shirts and beer, massive parties and a special gift for listeners amongst other surprises.

The swagger
The station will also be honouring the original pirates. These pirate pioneers formed the heart, soul and swagger of the Hauraki brand, which can still be heard, seen and felt today.

One of the original pirates, David Gapes*, is looking forward to the 50th celebrations and catching up with both former and current presenters. Gapes says he’s looking forward to “spinning some yarns, hearing some decent tunes and generally being silly buggers – once a pirate, always a pirate!”

After the years on the Tiri, Radio Hauraki moved to a land-based studio. While the crew no longer has literal run-ins with rocks or blustery winds, they continue to consistently push boundaries and often find themselves in figurative hot water.

Wees in the shower?
2015 saw current breakfast show hosts Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells make international headlines after their interview with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, where John Key confessed he does “wees in the shower”.

This global attention may not have been part of Tourism New Zealand’s strategic marketing plan, but it definitely turned the spotlight on the country.

These “silly bugger” antics that keep the pirate spirit alive have the support of NZME group entertainment director Dean Buchanan, who says, “The Hauraki brand is unique and reflects the humour of everyday Kiwis.

“The team has some fantastic plans to mark this special piece of New Zealand broadcasting history.”

Anyone for t?
Hauraki is teaming up with iconic Kiwi clothing brand Mr Vintage and releasing limited edition Radio Hauraki tees. There will be a limited edition commemorative beer and cider by the team at Invercargill Brewery – the Hauraki 5-O.

Hauraki listeners will have the chance to have their artwork feature in the station’s NZME Limited, 2 Graham Street, Auckland marketing, with the launch of a poster design competition called Show Us Your Doodle.

The Hauraki marketing team has blown the budget by offering a free air-guitar giveaway on the front page of every single NZ Herald newspaper today (you’re welcome!).

Tune in from Monday 25 July as Hauraki begins the search for the greatest year of music ever. Was it 1971 when Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin IV? Was it 1991 when Nirvana released Nevermind? Or maybe it was 1997 when Radiohead released OK Computer.

Listen in and get involved in the debate. Follow the celebrations by visiting, Facebook or Instagram.

Listen live on iHeartRadio.

*Now ed at M+AD

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