KAOS 88.2 Blenheim

Ex-radio engineer, musician and vineyard machinery operator Carwyn Henigan's passion is the community radio station, KAOS FM 88.2, he runs out of a spare bedroom in suburban Blenheim. Photo: SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Rocker blasts music for whole town to hear

MATT BROWN
Aug 31 2018

From a spare bedroom in small-town New Zealand, a tiny independent rock radio station has made waves nationally.

Vineyard machinery operator Carwyn Henigan from Blenheim “just got on with the job,” of starting KAOS FM 88.2 and estimated his audience is up to around 6000 listeners.

An audio recording engineer for 20 years, Henigan started his station just over a year ago to give listeners the “full true-blue kiwi music experience.”

“It’s a real heart-driven thing,” he said.

A “local institution with the rockers”, Henigan built a strong, loyal Marlborough following and has started to attract a national audience through streaming and via a mobile phone app.

An accomplished musician, Henigan takes pride in giving other local and national rock bands air time on his station.
Photo: SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Along with live shows at the weekend, the station played pop rock, modern rock, classic rock, Kiwi rock and exclusive rock music from overseas.

Henigan said community radio had an important role to play in showcasing new artists.

Last year, he gave band ‘His Master’s Voice’ airplay on KAOS FM. The band has since been picked up by The Rock radio station.

Henigan also claimed some of the credit for local band Atom Flight opening for I Am Giant in Nelson earlier this year.

“We picked up that band here in town,” Henigan said. “We’re quite influential.”

Transmitting from his central Blenheim house on the low-powered FM frequency 88.2, Henigan’s station runs 24/7.

Henigan transmits from his home in Blenheim on the low-powered frequency 88.2.
Photo: SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

“The antenna is like a speaker, the key thing is height.

“If we were broadcasting from the top of the Wither Hills, the broadcast would go a lot further,” he said.

The station covers all of central Blenheim.

From a musical family, Henigan had made successful singles and produced independent radio shows distributed around the world.

His long-term plan was to take his station to a commercial channel, but there are no commercial frequencies available in Marlborough.

“In the meantime, we’ve expanded online,” he said.

So far, Henigan said he was happy with the number of people tuning in and the station’s increasing popularity around the country.

“Good rock music lasts,” he said.

– The Marlborough Express

© The Marlborough Express August 31st, 2018.

This material remains © Stuff Limited and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.

For a current list of all radio stations broadcasting in New Zealand, visit our New Zealand Radio Guide.

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