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Changes to the Maritime Mobile Repeater allocations

Maritime radio channels changed on 1 October 2016

New Zealand, along with a number of other countries, has been required to change some maritime VHF repeater channels to make space for newly allocated international services for ship tracking and data services.

New Zealand has moved a few private VHF repeater services, most Coastguard VHF repeater services, and all NowCasting weather services to accommodate these changes.

The frequency changes took place on 1 October 2016, before the peak summer recreational boating season when VHF radio services become busy. This ensures New Zealand is ready for the changes that come into force internationally on 1 January 2017.


No change to emergency distress calling Maritime Channel 16

Although some maritime channels have changed, the existing maritime Channel 16 used for safety, distress and calling purposes has not changed.

No need to buy a new radio

Your current radio is still able to access all the available channels. However, you may need to switch to a new channel number to continue to access your local repeater or listen to the weather forecast.

New maritime channels

The biggest change you will notice is the new 4-digit maritime channels for the Coastguard and NowCasting weather service. These 4-digit channel numbers were allocated internationally to new maritime channels. New Zealand has used some of these new 4-digit maritime channels for the Coastguard and privately provided NowCasting weather services.

You can still listen to the weather channels on your current VHF simply by dropping the first two digits and using the last two digits of the 4-digit channel number. For example, in the Waitemata Harbour where the new weather channel number is 2019, you only need to use channel 19.


More information


Please contact your radio supplier in the first instance if you have a problem with your handset.

If you have any questions about the changes, please contact Radio Spectrum Management.



Last updated 10 October 2016