28 Jun 2018

Waiheke Island's weekly Gulf News going strong after 45 years

From Afternoons, 1:36 pm on 28 June 2018

Every Thursday morning, the shops of Waiheke Island fill up with Gulf News fans in Zimmer frames.

The locally owned newspaper has been published every week since 1973, says owner and editor Liz Waters.

When Waters bought into the paper in 1979 (six years after it started) nude bathing at Palm Beach was a hot topic of debate between "the developers and the hippies", she says.

These days, housing is a big issue – a third of houses on Waiheke Island are empty in winter and there's an accommodation shortage for workers, she says.

A locally-owned publication that truly understands local issues will always get readers, says Waters.

"We reflect the community accurately – and that's what you can do, locally.

'Those of us who are uber-local, totally engaged advocates for our communities, we're thriving."

Gulf News staff printed the paper themselves until 2005.

Now the $2 price tag covers a third of the commercial printing cost, Water says.

She mentions a 2015 study that showed 60 percent of people trust newspaper advertising – a relatively high level of trust.

"Print might be dead, but long live print."