30 Nov 2006

Two Pacific radio stations in New Zealand merge

5:29 pm on 30 November 2006

After months of negotiation, New Zealand's two Pacific radio stations Radio 531PI and NiuFM will merge.

The government-funded NiuFM has been criticised by some Pacific people who say it plays too much hip hop music with not giving enough attention to community issues and news.

The Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey says the merger will see resources pooled to meet common objectives like maintaining Pacific languages and culture.

He says the stations will operate under the National Pacific Radio Trust, appointed by the government to oversee Niu FM since it was set up in 2002.

NiuFM received over 12 million New Zealand dollars in government funding in the last budget round for the next four years but also has to sell advertising.