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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you?
Free FM launched on 1 August 2012, building on the great work of Community Radio Hamilton which has been around since 1991.

So you're a community radio station then?
Yes we are, but we're more than that! We serve the community, we certainly represent the community, and we work hard to develop relationships with community groups.

What do you mean by "Access" radio?
We are part of the Access radio network, and a member of the twelve-station Association of Community Access Broadcasters [ACAB]. New Zealand on Air assists Access stations financially, with the expectation that we:

"- ensure that a range of broadcasts is available to provide for the interests of women, youth, children, persons with disabilities and minorities in the community, including ethnic minorities" (Section 36(c) of the Act).
In June 1989, the Minister of Broadcasting issued a Directive to NZ On Air that says that "it is part of the general policy of Government in relation to broadcasting that access radio services should be available for a broad range of non-profit community groups"

Free FM lives and breathes this concept.

Who listens to Free FM?
All sorts of people ! We don't target any one group, or any one generation, but provide a range of programmes of interest to everyone. If what you hear isn't to your taste, try tuning in later, or another day, or check our programme listings from the home page.

Why do you have shows that I can't understand?
Migrant communities are a significant part of the Waikato community, and are specifically named as a priority group for Access Radio representation. We continue to invite all migrant and new settler communities to create content, and are constantly delighted at the fresh and exciting shows they bring to our airwaves.

Why don't you get some better DJs?
Everyone here is a volunteer, not a professional 'radio jock'. We represent everyone, and this comes across loud and clear. Mistakes get made, voices vary in their clarity, and often our presenters have English as a second (or third) language - that's the way Access Radio is, and this is worth celebrating !

Who chooses the music?
The show hosts choose their own music, and Free FM's music director carefully and skillfully selects the rest of the music that plays across the schedule - including our Feature Album of the Week. We don't focus on Top 40, and we're not a rock station. We do play significant percentages of local and New Zealand music, and have themed music nights [Monday - rock, Tuesday - Americana, country, bluegrass, Wednesday - blues, Thursday - reggae, ska, rocksteady, Friday - house, funk and hip hop, Saturday - rock]. Like the programmes, the music is diverse and we're confident that true music lovers will love the sound. Of course we're happy to take feedback and we welcome music submissions. CDs can be mailed to Free FM, PO Box 110, Hamilton.

Where can we hear Free FM?
Our 89FM signal comfortably reaches the greater Waikato region. The exact coverage depends on the device you're using, but our signal comfortably travels well beyond Te Kauwhata to the north, west as far as Raglan, east as far as Te Aroha, and a long way south beyond Putaruru and Tokoroa.

Check 'other ways to hear Free FM' for more options.

What if I miss something great?
We replay a number of popular shows, usually in late evening time slots. Check out current schedule.
Most of our shows are also available as podcasts.

Do you still have a question you would like answered?
Please use our feedback feature.