Nelson’s Radio Fifeshire

Nelson’s Radio Fifeshire

Back in 1982 two people by the names of Kevin Ihaia and Digby Lawley lodged an application with the Broadcasting Tribunal to operate a short term radio station for the four weeks of January 1983. For twenty-eight days Fifeshire broadcast from the upstairs studios above the now demolished second-hand [used goods store] shop at the traffic lights in Richmond. The frequency used was AM 855 Khz.

January 1983 Radio Fifeshire’s first broadcasts.
© Pete Dawson


This was the second summer of Radio Fifeshire, This short term licence was the longest Fifeshire had over their AM broadcast years with forty-six days on air. This time operating from studios at 23 Halifax St, Nelson. On a frequency of AM 990 Khz. News on the hour from 6am – 6pm came from Radio Avon, Christchurch.

Radio Fifeshire’s second summer of broadcasting.
© Pete Dawson


Went to air at midnight December 15th 1984 for a period of five weeks, on a frequency of AM 990 Khz. Listen to a test transmission done by Jon Diamond:

Listen to the beginning of this years broadcast hosted by Jon Diamond:

Announcement leading into New Orders, Blue Monday:


Went on air at midnight December 14th 1985 for a period of six weeks and finishing on Sunday January 26th 1986, on a frequency of AM 990 Khz. Listen to the beginning of this years broadcast hosted by Iain Bell:

and from the last fifteen minutes:

Together in FM Stereo:

Radio Fifeshire ‘Reach For The Best’ Ad
© Pete Dawson


Went on air at midnight December 7th 1986 but had to be commercial-free for the first week, till January 25th 1987 on a frequency of AM 990 Khz. Listen to the beginning of this years broadcast hosted by Keith Richardson:

Shout outs from Kevin Ihaia:

End of this years broadcast by Iain Bell:


Went on air at midnight December 12th 1987 till midnight January 29th 1988, on a frequency of AM 990 Khz. Now operating from new studios in Trafalgar Square, Nelson. This was to be the final short term AM broadcast before going FM. Listen to a test transmisson:

Listen to the beginning of this years broadcast hosted by Dave Yates:


It took three years of waiting for the Broadcasting Tribunal to make a decision on an FM warrant for Nelson, but on June 20th 1987 it was announced that Fifeshire would be broadcasting on FM stereo within six months, on the condition that they also start relaying the BCNZ Concert Program within three years. Then on July 2nd 1987 the BCNZ lodged an appeal to the High Court in Wellington against the decision to give Fifeshire an FM warrant, they had also been trying to get a warrant to bring ZMFM to Nelson. This appeal would delay Fifeshire from hitting the FM airways that year. Then on August 27th 1987 the BCNZ withdrew the appeal thus giving Fifeshire the all clear to set up an FM station. A start date of January 28th 1988 was set, As part of the station launch there was a big concert at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park featuring Icehouse, and former Nelson singer Sharon O’Neill.

Radio Fifeshire ‘On Air’ Ad
© Pete Dawson

Radio Fifeshire Ads
© Pete Dawson

Recordings of Radio Fifeshire were made about 40kms away from Fifeshire’s transmitter so there is some fading and background noise.

Thanks to Pete Dawson, Nelson [New Zealand] for sharing his great collection of audio and other hard to find memorabilia from the early days of Radio Fifeshire.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
(Visited 189 times, 1 visits today)
Share this to your favourite social media
Comments: 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *