Radio Hauraki

How stifled we felt back in the 1960’s when radio was a state-controlled monopoly and popular music was all but banned.
Private commercial radio stations had operated from the earliest days of broadcasting, but the government had systematically closed them all down.

In 1966, a brave heroic bunch of men decided they were going to break the monopoly held by the government.

Hence, less than a month after my twelfth birthday,  in early December 1966; Radio Hauraki was formed as a pirate station in the Hauraki Gulf, broadcasting outside government control from a ship moored in international waters.

The Beatles, Troggs, Rolling Stones and the Kinks all of a sudden flowed into our lives and the vibrancy of the announcers and of course the music brightened our lives.
The demand for transistor radios was overwhelming.

The government ran interference to try and shut them down on a continual basis.
There was a public backlash as folk started questioning the motives of state control as it appeared more and more to be a form of indoctrination.

The Pirate Ship ran from December 1966 through to 1st June 1970 when the government finally relented and agreed to issue Hauraki with a Licence, which meant they could broadcast from onshore.

Common sense finally prevailed.

I must tell you of my favourite announcer.
His name was Rick Grant and sadly he fell overboard and drowned after celebrating the victory.
Even today I remember him with a smile on my face and at times a tear in my eye as he brought so much happiness into my young life.

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