What you need to know

If you want to get air time for 1-2 hours without setting up a radio station

If you want to broadcast just for 1 or 2 hours, you can do this without setting up your own radio station or getting a licence in your own name. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage(external link) (MCH) has a list of community radio stations you can contact like Community Access Radio(external link) or Access Internet Radio(external link).

Another option is to negotiate air time with another community-based radio station, without getting a licence in your own name.

If you want to get a licence in your own name

You must get an Approved Radio Engineer (ARE) to apply for a licence on your behalf.

Having a licence doesn’t automatically give you preferential rights to broadcast from a certain site. You'll need to talk to the site owner or landlord to get approval to broadcast from your preferred location.


$150.00 per year.

You may be eligible for a funding grant. Contact MCH to apply.

Additional costs:

Reserved frequencies

There are a number of frequencies around New Zealand that are reserved for non-commercial broadcasting. Some are in use, but there are other reservations that are available.

RSM grants and registers non-commercial licences for these reserved frequencies, with agreement from the Ministry of Culture & Heritage.

See Regional and Community Broadcasting Policy Framework(external link) for more information.

With this licence you must:

Follow the technical parameters of the licence, which include operating:

  • on a specific frequency
  • up to a set power
  • from a defined transmitting location.

Pay an annual fee to keep your licence current. All non-commercial sound broadcasting licences are valid until April 2031.

Operate under the relevant Ministry of Culture & Heritage licence agreement.

Not operate in a way that causes interference to other radio services.


  1. MCH will check whether:

    • there are any competing applicants wanting the same reserved frequencies, and
    • your licence application meets the criteria for regional and community broadcasting.
  2. If your application meets the MCH criteria, the ARE will engineer the licence based on a reserved frequency.

  3. Once your licence is certified you’ll get an email:

    • Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your licence.
    • Make payment if requested.
  4. You’ll receive a further email, confirming that your licence has been granted.

    This will contain the conditions of your licence, and the date you can start broadcasting.

  5. Set up your equipment in line with your licence conditions.

  6. Start broadcasting within 21 months from the date your licence is registered.