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Record result for new radio licences

Ministers’ release: 4 December 2014

An auction of new radio spectrum licences has fetched almost $17.4 million says Communications and Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams.

Yesterday was the final day of the week-long auction where 126 AM and FM radio licences were sold across the country.

“The success of this auction and record return highlights that the radio broadcasting industry still has an important part to play in the New Zealand economy,” says Ms Adams.

“This was the first time a radio licence auction was conducted through Turners and Trade Me, which has proved to be an efficient and reliable way to sell frequencies.”

One auction started a bidding war for a Christchurch radio licence which fetched more than $7.8 million. Huntsbury Hill was the only licence available covering Christchurch City, with the largest population coverage of all licences in the auction.

With a price per head of $22.86, the Huntsbury Hill licence is the highest price licence ever sold. Trade Me has confirmed that this is the single largest auction on the site ever.

“The willingness of commercial radio stations to pay more than $7.8 million for a commercial FM radio licence in the area is a vote of confidence in the future of Canterbury,” says Ms Adams.

Licences for New Plymouth, Hamilton and Wellington also fetched high prices ranging from $400,000 to $2.5 million.

“The auction was a great success across the board and will create more certainty across the radio broadcasting sector, particularly those who were previously on temporary licences,” says Ms Adams.

About the licence auction

This is the thirteenth auction of spectrum licences and/or management rights, with 173 licences up for sale. The auction is for commercial AM and FM radio broadcasting licences which are currently unused or have been allocated on a temporary basis. The licences will run from December 2014 to April 2031.  Successful bidders will be required to implement a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week service within two calendar years of the licence being transferred to the successful bidder.

Top five licences sold



Sale price

Huntsbury Hill, Christchurch



Ruru, Hamilton



Kaukau, Wellington



Kaukau, Wellington



Mt Egmont, New Plymouth




Updated on 23rd July 2015