My first impressions of Hauraki was on a visit to Picton early in 1970 and was impressed to be told by a family friend who had invited me into his bedroom to show me his reception of Hauraki on an old valve Bell Colt that here was a station broadcasting from an old ship in the Hauraki Gulf – probably the only broadcast from the Tiri (II) that I ever caught. Shortly after that (26 May 1970) the family moved from our North Canterbury farm to Picton and can’t recall whether I actually heard Hauraki’s last b/c from the Gulf on 1 June that year.

When I next heard it from 26 September (what a great birthday surprise for me!)I was absolutely besotted with Peter Telling’s show (it used to be just audible from 7pm on my own 3-valve Bell Colt – whose alignment I stuffed up trying to get Radio I!! – depending on the weather & time of year of course). So much so, I’m sure my homework suffered terribly because of it!!

I used to religiously sit in my bedroom every Monday night and write down the whole Top 40 week on week from 31 May ’71 until it “ceased” on 31 Jan ’72.

Also recall Ross & Fergie’s shows in the next 2-3 years including calls to the “Waiau Nightowl” in North Canterbury & vaguely Trevor(?) breakfast shows on a old Engish 4-valve “Regentone”.

After being sent to boarding school in Blenheim in ’73, had to try and hear Hauraki mostly on a smuggled portable Sanyo trannie against the local station 2ZE (1540) – better on Sundays because 2ZE didn’t start till 8am!

Left school at end of ’74 & joined the Army & continued listening from Waiouru (great reception – apart from RTTY at Irirangi which probably drove my room mates spare with the QRM!!) Recall coming home on leave from boarding school in ’74 and had just received Adrian’s “Shoestring Pirates” in the mail with 2 free yellow car stickers and put them on the Austin 8 – much to the chagrin of my brother who liked Radio I more!

Continued listening from Linton Camp until 1978 when the 9 kHz spacing was adopted and once again had to compete with Aunty Natrad which had moved from 1410kHz to 1449kHz – again driving my room-mates spare with that station’s QRM on my recently acquired National 8-transistor.

On a couple of visits to Auckland, was amazed at the clean quality of Hauraki’s modulation (am certain to this day that I could even hear the cue-pulses from the cart machines!!). Also hooked on Barry J’s foray into new wave from ’76.

I think the writing was on the wall for such a wide-ranging format from ’83 when 89 & 91FM started although I stuck with 1XA until they moved to 99FM in 1990 and that format was greatly narrowed by “the money-men” and lost interest shortly thereafter – having tried my own hand at DJing on student stations in Hamilton & Auckland – where I remain today as part-time mobile DJ.

As a real bonus, I discoved in the mid 80’s that another brother in Hawkes Bay had recorded one of Peter & Ross’s shows (6-4-71) on a (now)very mangled C-120 tape and for the past 15 years or so have been slowly acquiring the songs for remastering and intend to mingle them with the voice breaks and those wonderful old Caltex/other commercials – voiced by Stuart McPherson/Alan Jarvis & others. Some songs almost impossible to get now – eg: The Drifters’ “A Rose by Any Other Name”; Nia Hughes’ “Turn on the Sun”; also Suzanne’s (Chick’s)”Madeline”, or Mungo Jerry’s “Wildcat Sue” (anyone got ’em??) – great uplifting music compared to the mostly negativity that is churned out these days!!

My all-time Kiwi fave is from Jan ’76 – The Inbetweens’ “I Can’t stop Loving You” – with Brian O’Toole signing-off(still chokes me up!!!) as the sun set over Waiouru…unfortunately didn’t allow quite enough room on cassette – damn it!

Also enjoyed Fred Botica’s brekky, Blackie’s “Hot-line Lunacy phone-calls and even Kent Robinson’s cheeky style in the late 80s.

However, having finally aquired a reasonable copy of the Inbetweens’ song from Marbecks (thanks, Brent – currently going for $300 on Zillion!!)was somwhat disappointed on calling PD Mike Regal that “we’re not really interested thanks” – hence my lack of real interest in what Hauraki plays today.

Happy 40th anyway guys Bob

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