Homegrown Porirua radio station comes of age
Esther Lauaki, Kapi-Mana News
Porirua’s Hollah FM has found a new home at Whitireia New Zealand’s local campus, providing an outlet for practical radio experience for budding broadcasters.
Station co-founder La’i Lepou said the Hollah team wanted to leave a legacy in their community.
“We take a lot of students in from all over Porirua and they all love it, which is awesome,” she said.
“Our dream for Hollah is to have the radio station grow and not have us be there forever but pass our knowledge on to people.”
Though Hollah will work with Whitireia, giving students experience on-air and behind the scenes, it has not been bought by the polytech, remaining an independent operation.
The station launched in 2007, a labour of love for Ms Lepou, Paula Strickland, Alofa Lopati and Julie Lomanu, with help from a tight-knit team of mentors.
Ms Lepou says they wanted to give a voice to young people in the area.
“When we all finished at radio school and we knew we had to move out of Wellington to find a radio job but none of us wanted to move,” Ms Lepou said.
“Radio is our passion and in order to follow that passion our only choice was to start our own station. We wanted to target youth in Porirua.
“Heaps of people think we’re a Pasifika station and we are proud to be part of that community but we speak to all youth, not just Pasifika.
“Youth to us is anyone who is young-minded. I’m getting old  and I still think I’m young.”
Over the past three years the station had evolved into a hub for anyone in need, she said.
“We’re not youth workers but this radio station has given us the opportunity for so many young people. We’ve had people knocking on our doors. We’ll take them in, take them home, feed them if they need it.”
She said the radio would begin online streaming in the new year. Tune into Hollah on its new frequency: 107.7FM.
© Kapi-Mana News December 14 2010.
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