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Brian Cotter's interview on his Saturday program was with Rosemarie McCarthy of International Entertainment. She was promoting the World Festival of Magic NZ which has been touring NZ for the past 30 years.

The shows are every November and December. 14 Lion Clubs throughout NZ host the shows which last for 90 minutes. Tickets cannot be purchased as they are all "complimentary". They are given to special needs children and their families to attend.

Tauranga City Sunraise Lions Club are hosts for the show at Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre on Saturday 17th November at 4-30pm to 7-00pm.


Posted on 05 Oct 19


As a follow up to our story about Sarah Menzies and her cousin Linda Sylvester donating their grandparents Columbus Radio to our Museum, we would like to share the lovely e-mail we have received. Rememer they drove down from Auckland. 


"We listened to 1368AM coming down the Kaimais and it came through loud and clear - wonderful music that we both remembered.  We were lucky enough to arrive when Brian (Cotter) was announcing and when Kelvin and Eileen were in as well.  A spot was all ready for us to place the radio and I took some photos of it before we left.  


Kelvin gave us a great tour, which we both absolutely loved. Brian gave me a short interview on air and played a request.  Linda and I were amazed at your collection of both radios and LPs and your equipment and it was fun seeing some of the old LP covers we remembered. 


The museum and station are definitely something really special.  We are sharing photos of our visit with our cousins and I've attached a photo of Brian and Kelvin.


Thank you so much for organising everything for us to make such a special memorable day.  We would love to visit again in the future,

Kind Regards Sarah"









Posted on 27 Sep 19


On Saturday 21st September we were pleased to accept the donation of a Columbus Mantle Radio.  It was donated by Sarah Menzies who had driven with friend Linda Sylvester, from Auckland to make the donation.

The radio had belonged to Sarah's grandparents, Jack and Elsie Menzies and on seeing our website Sarah decided that it would be the perfect place for the much loved radio to be in our Museum.   Her grandparents who lived in Birkinhead, Auckland had paid the princely sum of £26.


Photo is of left Linda Sylvester and right Sarah Menzies with the Columbus Mantle Radio


Posted on 22 Sep 19


George Stewart was kept busy on his Thursday morning show with three interviews.


The first was with Karen Gemmell of the Cancer Society Waitato/Bay of Plenty. Karen has 25 years of experience across communications, events, fundraising and public facility management. It covers corporate, public and charity sectors. She has worked on the ASB Baypark Arena in Tauranga, Beijing Olympics 2008, Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006 and many more.


She came in to talk with George about Daffodil Day on Friday 30th August which affects 1 in 3 New Zealanders with cancer. The event involves thousands of Volunteers and fundraisers across New Zealand and has been in existance for 29 years

Posted on 24 Aug 19


Award winning producer Ngahuia Wade was George's third interview.   She is the wife of former MP, Richard Prebble.

She produces documentaries for Iwi Radio containting unique Iwi histories, explores the political social and cultural concerns of the moment from Maori around Aotearoa. 

She was very impressed with Village Radio and our Museum and will return at a later date to include us in an upcoming documentary.

Posted on 24 Aug 19


Our announcer Brian Cotter was watching TV One News on the 18th August and the segment "Good Sorts" turned out to be about his very good friends Ngaire and Ernie Lepper from Matamata. So on Saturday 24th he decided to interview them by phone about their voluntary work with Matamata Community Health Shuttle.

They have spent the last 11 years driving people to their hospital appointments. There are no public transport facilities either to Hamilton or the Hospital from Matamata so they help provide a viltal service.

Ernie was given 2 years to live, that was 10 years ago, so he says he knows what people are going through.  They also acknowledged the people that are also involved in the charity.



 Photo of Ngaire and Ernie Lepper sitting in the Shuttle

Posted on 24 Aug 19


Number 2 interview, Students from New South Wales visited our studios and George interviewed two of their leaders.  They are here to take part in the Trans Tasman Squash and Soccer Tournements. 

Posted on 24 Aug 19


Jim Brynes interviewed Julie Batson, Sales Executive and Administrator with The Vines Retirement Village at Bethlehem.

The Village is on 12 hectares and is positioned on what was once the iconic Mills Reef Winery.  You can choose from one of two or three bedroom villas in detached and duplex configurations plus garaging.

The complex is close to all shops, supermarket and walking tracks at Bethlehem. 


The photo is of Julie Batson.

Posted on 14 Aug 19


George Stewart had the pleasure of interviewing two accomplished ladies in our studio.  The first was Jo Bond, The Tauranga Festival Director. This years Festival is from the 24th October to the 3rd November and has participants from USA, Germany, Scotland, Canada and Australia as well as some major home-grown talent. Jo has travelled extensively to find the right people for the biennial Festival.  There is something for everyone and quite a few of the events are already sold out.




The second guest was Millie Newitt, the Mainstreet Tauranga Co-ordinator at Downtown Tauranga.  She has arranged this month's Taste Tauranga, featuring numerous Tapa Tastings, with around 31 Resturants, Cafes and Bars taking part.  The event finishes at the end of the month. For further information,  contact .








The photo is of Jo Bond





Posted on 13 Aug 19


Gray Bartlett was interviewed by Brian Cotter on his Saturday morning show.  Gray had a fundraiser for the Variety Artists Club the night before with, Brendan Dugan, Jodi Vaughan and special guest Carson Taare aged 17 who is appearing with The Glenn Miller Band Tour, he is proving to be very popular and  even at his young age has had great exposure in America. 


There are 21 people coming out from America with the Band and they sell out all over the world, in fact they are booked 3/4 years ahead.   They are run by a Foundation which involves the Glenn Miller family. 


There is a show in Hamilton on the Friday, 6th September, 7-30pm, you can either have theatre tickets or add dine/dance  as well. There is also a concert in Auckland on the 8th September.  4 free tickets were on offer, but it did not take long for them to be snapped up.  You can get your tickets through Ticketek .  




 Photo of Carson Taare



Posted on 03 Aug 19


George Stewart's studio guest this week was the General Manager of Age Concern Tauranga, Tanya Smith.

Age Concern offers many social and physical activities for the older residents of Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty. Some examples are : Safe With Age Driver tutorials, "Steady as You Go" falls prevention classes,  Walking Groups, Coffee and Conversation groups, as well as Mini Bus Adventures and outings for the men. A monthly meeting at the Tauranga RSA, with a keynote speaker, which attracts large numbers.  People living alone can also have an Accredited Visitor to call and keep them company for an hour.

To become a member costs just $25 per household.  Enquiries to 07 578 2631


Photo:- Tanya Smith in our studio.

Posted on 25 Jul 19


On his morning show Brian Cotter gave a salute to the Moon Landing, 50 years ago through stories and music.   

Although the live TV pictures were broadcast in the UK on Sunday night 20th July 1969, New Zealand had to wait until Monday 21st, 1969, after the film of the moon landing arrived in Wellington via a Royal NZ Canbarra bomber, which was used to fly the tape over the Tasman. It was taken to the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in town where it played on the news that evening.

Village Radio's link with this historic event was that one of our later announcers and volunteer, Colin McLean, was with the NZBC at the time and was there to help with the broadcast of the landing.

Posted on 20 Jul 19


Brian Cotter's guest to-day was Mahora Peters lead singer and founding member of the legendary Maori Volcanics. Born in the Hikirangi she has travelled all over the world, 53 countries infact, with the Show Band.

Two of our greatest entertainers started out with the Volcanics, Prince Tui Teka (8 years) and Billy T. James (4 years).

Mahora and her husband Billy Peters have kept the group going and after 5 years in Las Vegas are now back in New Zeland touring once again. In fact prior to the interview they had been playing at the Citz Club here in Tauranga. They will be touring other parts of New Zealand before returning once again to Las Vegas.

In 2011 they received the award for a Lifetime Contribution to Maori Music.


Photo is of Mahora and husband Billy Peters.

Posted on 13 Jul 19


On Monday 8th July, Village Radio will be commencing it's first new Multi Cultural Broadcast at approx 5-00pm. 


Haidee Kalirai is from the Tauranga City Council and she will be talking about her work welcoming new arrivals from India and other countries to our beautiful city.   


Co-hosting the new programme will be the Manager of the Tauranga Regional Multicultural Society, Waitsu Wu, who is from Taiwan. 


Also included will be music from the various countries. 


On the 14th July, Waitsu will host a presenter, from the Chinese Friendship Society and the Wisdom Mandarin School, who will be talking about their work with the Chinese Community. 



Photo is of Waitsu Wu

Posted on 05 Jul 19


Jim Peterson of Westbay Real Estate was interviewed by George Stewart on his Thursday morning show.  Jim gives 20% of the full commission to registered charities and once the property is sold the donation is made. 


Over the last 18 months $30,000 has been donated to 7 different charities.  The latest being $8,500 to the Neurological Foundation. Jim stated that it was a privilege for him to be able to do this.


Jim was a registered builder for 22 years and has been in Real Estate for 28 years.  One of 500 Volunteers, Jim is with the "Good Neighbour" charity - Food Rescue - Their statement is "No Waste No Hunger - Redistributing food good enough to eat but not good enough to sell".  They collect food from 13 Supermarkets, Cafes and other food outlets which cannot be sold and then redistributed to 50 needy charities around Tauranga Monday to Friday. 1.8 tonnes of food is collected for distributing every day throughout New Zealand.


You can contact Jim on 0800-220012 or



Posted on 13 Jun 19



Interviewed by George Stewart on his Thursday morning show, Constable Elliot Hira, who is the Programme Co-ordinator of NZ Blue Light Ventures was in our studio. 

They are based in Tauranga and are actively seeking qualified motor vehicle drivers to 'mentor' young people, to gain their own driver's licence. 

The 'mentor" would be required to have a 'clean' licence and be able to devote one day a week for up to 6 months to instruct a teenager how to drive and pass their learner licence. 

The programme is aimed at preventing young un-licenced drivers from getting into cars and starting life with a convication, or worse, fleeing from police and crashing.


For further information go to  


Constable Elliot Hira in our studio.

Posted on 31 May 19


From the 4th June Village Radio will be broadcasting from 8-00am in the morning instead of 10-00am.  This will be a trial period of 3 months. We need to know if you the listeners think we should continue with the early start. So please let us know either by ringing the studio (571-3710) or posting your approval on our Facebook Page.

Errol Hay will be broadcasting the first programme starting at 8-00am.  Errol has been a volunteer panel operater for a while but this will be his first as an announcer.


Posted on 28 May 19


Brian Cotter spoke with Allie Curran on his Village People show on Saturday.  One day while practising, with husband Bruce, on the back porch at their Miner's cottage in Coromandel, they decided on the name for their duo band, Back Porch.

Allie plays Ukulele which she taught her self and also the Mouth-organ.  Bruce plays the guitar, he had a band that played in the Bars and Universty gigs around Dunedin and asked Allie to join him.

They moved to Wanganui and then the Coromandel where they lived in the Miner's Cottage. It was somewhat run down, which they renovated, and it even had a Goldmine on the property but unfortunately they never found any gold. After entertaning in the area for a while they moved to Tauranga which they love.  

Brian Cotter read an article about them and asked them to perform at Bayswater Retirement Village. They were soon involved in doing shows for other Retirement Villages, Clubs and Markets.

Most unusal gigs, Whangamomona Hotel on Republic Day where a man, on a horse, rode through the pub and a Sun Club where everything was "Most Natural" according to Allie!!!

Posted on 26 May 19


Carol Storey is a Maori singer/songwriter and comes from Opotiki but lives in Tauranga. Carole has been entertaining for some years and is now the Music teacher at Tauranga Intermediate School.  A job she is passionate about.

The Torch Songs Band started in 1997 as a duo, Carol on vocals and Liam Ryan, piano. Over 12 years another 4 musicians joined the band, Grant Mason - trumpet, Dave Maybee - guitar, Wayne Melville - bass and Neil Reynolds - drums.  The band has many jazz and festival headline appearances and three albums to their credit.  

This Mother's Day, 12th May, they will appear at The Citz Club, Cameron Road from 5-00 pm to 8-00 pm admission $15. If you want to hear spellbounding moments, jazz, coupled with the flavours of world music and great musicianship this is the event for you.



Posted on 11 May 19


The popular ex broadcaster Bonnie Leonard did the Sunday morning show on 5th May.  Bonnie who now lives in Gore could not get away with coming to Tauranga without broadcasting for Village Radio and her many listeners.

She was interviewed on the phone by Brian Cotter on his "Village People" show on Saturday morning leading up to the Sunday show.

As you can see from the photo no sooner had she answered one phone when the other one rang!  She was kept busy talking with many of our listeners and playing their requests.  Unfortunately Bonnie only visits once a year to announce much to the disappointment of her 'fans'.

She was assisted during the broadcast by Kelvin Roach playing the vinyl records, Eileen Roach getting out the requests and Sheila Lacey answering the phones.



Posted on 05 May 19


On the 25th April, ANZAC DAY, Bayswater Retirement Village remembered our gallant soldiers of the two World Wars, Vieitnam and Afghanistan who gave their lives so that we could live in peace.


The remembrance was in the form of a concert with songs and poems and our own Brian Cotter as Narrator. He used some of the equipment from our Museum including, a vintage 1939 microphone, a pair of 1920 old headphones  and a small xylophone, NZBC 1960 radio chimes used by commercial announcers in Napier.  


The photo shows Brian Cotter (far right) and the rest of the cast on stage.

Posted on 29 Apr 19


Nineteen of our 30 Volunteers got together for a 35th Anniversary photo shoot.  We are in Vintage Studio One at Village Radio.  

From left to right, Judith and Steve Lambie, Jim Brynes, Marion King, Graeme Millow, Errol Hay, Carole Marsden, Kelvin Roach, Neil Walsh, Brian Cotter, Brian Williams, George Stewart, Tony Rhind and Eileen Roach.

From left to right, Sheila Lacey, Shirley Hanly, Ken Wadsworth, Bonnie Cherrington and Peter Donnelly.

Posted on 24 Apr 19


Our 35th Birthday Party was on Sunday 14th April (Actual day was 13th April). It was attended by around 80 Volunteers and Listeners and it was a huge success. 

One of our guests was Tauranga Mayor, Greg Brownless who gave a speech about his father being an avid Village Radio listener and the Mayor's involvement with us over the years.

During the party certificates for long service were presented by Chairman Steve Lambie to, Shirley Hanly, Bonnie Cherrington, Kelvin Roach, Sid Pavett, Sheila Lacey, Neil Walsh and with over 22 years Russ Bain.

The beautifully made cake was made by the daughter of Steve and Judith Lambie, in fact we were loathed to cut it up!!

The entertainment was Tauranga's Blaze who had everyone shouting for more. 


The photo shows The Mayor, Greg Brownless, Station Manager George Stewart and Announcer/Raffle winner Shirley Hanly.

Posted on 15 Apr 19


Visiting our studios on Friday was Kerry from Wales, UK.  Our announcer Jim Wood interviewed Kerry and found out that he had done several broadcasts with Kiwi announcers "spinning records".

Jim also got Kerry to announce some of the records being played during Jim's programme.


The photo is of Kerry at the mic.


Posted on 06 Apr 19


Last Thursday (4th April) we had the pleasure of showing our Radio Station to a lovely reporter from the Bay Times, Jean Bell.  


Jean had come to talk to us about our celebrations to mark 35 years of broadcasting.  Our first broadcast being made on the 13th April 1984. We will be having a party on 14th April at Matua Bowling Club with entertainment by Blaze. 


Don't forget to check the Bay Times for Jean's article.


The photo is of Jean Bell with our announcer Brian Cotter.

Posted by Sheila Lacey on 06 Apr 19


On the 1st March Brian Cotter interviewed Jim Munro, (See previous News Item) He is a songwriter and entertainer from Calgary, Canada who was here on a visit to see his daughter who lives in Tauranga, NZ.  He has been appearing at several Music Festivals throughout New Zealand including Taranaki, Hawkes Bay as well as Tauranga.
This Saturday, at 11-00am, on his morning show, Brian Cotter, will play a recent recorded interview he did with Jim before he left Tauranga, on Tuesday 26th March.  During his visit Jim wrote several songs two of which will be played during the programme.  One echoes the feelings of Canadians spending Christmas at the beach!  The other written a week before the tragedy in Christchurch, which almost reflects the love and compassion of New Zealanders during this time.

Posted by Sheila Lacey on 27 Mar 19


Listener, Mr John Gully from Matua has kindly donated a Loud Speaking Telephone to our Radio Museum. (See Photo).
It is a 1920's model C2, British Thomson-Houston (BTH) horn loudspeaker. It was made in Rugby, England of Bakelite construction. 
Also donated were two very old headphones one by Siemens of London and the other Omega made in Germany.
Come along to our Museum and see these and other wonderful exhibits from yesteryear.

Posted on 26 Mar 19


Brian Cotter had the privilege of interviewing one of New Zealand's greatest international stars, Sir John Rowles.  He was born in Whakatane but raised in Kawerau. He had 5 sisters and one brother. Two of his sisters were the subject of two of his number one songs,  'Cheryl Moana Marie' and 'Tania'.     
He left school at age 15 years and worked, among other things, a lumberjack.   He formed a band called the Kawerau Shadows, where he played lead guitar, the band took inspiration from The Shadows, including the dance steps,
He arrived in England in the late sixties where he recorded the smash hit "If I Only Had Time". It got to number 3 in the charts and stayed there for 18 weeks. He was just 20 years old.
In 1980 he received the O.B.E for his contribution to music and then in 2018 was awarded a knighthood from the Queen for his contribution to the entertainment industry along with his benevolent charitable involvement throughout his international career. 

Posted on 16 Mar 19


A visit from the Vintage Car Club two weeks ago prompted one of their members to plan a group tour by Bethlehem Country Club.  Ten members attended and the photo shows some of them, with far left, Kelvin Roach and announcer for the day, George Stewart.
We welcome group tours but as our studios are somewhat small, large groups split into smaller groups would be preferable.

Posted on 01 Mar 19


Last Saturday, Brian Cotter, interviewed Jim Munro a Canadian from Calgary visiting his daughter here in Tauranga. He has been here for 2 months and was most impressed with our studio and museum.
He comes from a Military family and was born in Germany. He has been a Cowboy Guide in a Wilderness project and a North West Mounted Policeman. 
He is now a songwriter, plays guitar and started performing on radio and TV at about 40 years old!
One of his songs "That's Canada To Me" is a real patriotic song and has been performed by a National Choir on the Great Wall Of China. He has written two songs, while here in NZ, one "Kia Kaha" and "The New Phone" about the almost religious adoration of the same. 

The photo is Jim Munro in our studio.

Posted on 01 Mar 19


George Stewart's studio guest was Andy Somerville, the co-owner of No 8 Tours from Bethlehem. Andy was the son of a farmer, and grew up on a 16,000 acre hill country station in the Wairarapa.
With his wife Sarah, who grew up in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, Andy described how the company was formed some 10 years ago, after providing tours for the cruise ship industry and seeing a niche in the market for the more senior tourist. They have a door to door service with over 50 different tours available.
They quickly diversified to specialize in day and multi day excursions for the Senior community, right throughout New Zealand.  They are now one of the largest travel clubs in NZ, providing high quality trips to exotic places not seen by the average traveler. 

Posted on 01 Mar 19


George Stewart's recent studio guest was a former Royal Navy communications officer, Lt. Commander Jerry Anderson.  His career included being posted on board nuclear powered submarines, based in Scotland.  Jerry is visiting his daughter in Tauranga when he called in at Village Radio Museum.
He spoke about the various ships and bases he was on including Greenwich and Whitehall and another at a NATO HQ in Portugal.  He also told the listeners about the threat of the Russian submarines, which were sometimes observed or heard communicating around the British Isles and the North Sea, as well as the presence of the IRA during the Thatcher era.
Submarines used a very low radio frequency to communicate with their base when underwater and sometimes used a long wire radio aerial, towed astern on a floating buoy.  The longest spell his submarine was submerged was 28 days but the nuclear powered subs could remain underwater for many months.

Posted on 16 Feb 19


On Sunday, 3rd February, Peter Posa, guitarist extraordinaire died in Waikato Hospital, he was 77 years old.
On Saturday, 9th February, Brian Cotter interviewed Peter's friend of many years, and fellow guitarist Gray Barlett. Gray said that Peter was a trailblazing guitarist with his Les Paul-style and light bouncy sound.
Peter came from a Yugoslav background in Henderson, West Auckland. At 18 he started his own band The Peter Posa Combo.
In 1963 Peter recorded "White Rabbit" which became a multi-platinum hit. He became in demand not only in New Zealand but all over the Pacific, Australia and the United States.
Through recording on the Viking label Peter was invited to functions in Las Vegas and Nashville rubbing shoulders with such guests as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Chet Atkins.
Another long time friend, Tommy Emmanuel, another guitarist from Australia, who told Peter that he was one of his mentors.
in 2006 Gray last appeared with Peter. "unfortunately he wasn't well even then but he was great" stated Gray.
In 2012 at age 74 Peter received the award for the Highest Selling Album at the New Zealand Music Awards.

The photo is of Gray Bartlett, Tommy Emmanuel and Peter Posa.

Posted on 11 Feb 19


George Stewart talked this morning with Buddy Mikaere.   Buddy helped organise a very successful Waitangi Day at the Historic Village and he also talked about the meaning of the day.
Other topics were that Buddy was attending a meeting on Thursday to discuss with the Port of Tauranga, the move of the Pipi beds in the harbor to a safe location where the dredge cannot destroy them.  He talked about his latest book "Victory at Gate Pa" and educating schoolchildren about Maori history in the Tauranga Moana District.

Buddy Mikaere in the studio with George Stewart.

Posted on 07 Feb 19


Prior to their concert at the Citizen's Club on Sunday 13th January, at 5-00pm drummer and vocalist with Human Instinct, Maurice Greer, was interviewed in our studio on Saturday by Brian Cotter.
Originally from Palmerston North Maurice now lives in Papamoa, Tauranga.  In the 1950's Maurice joined The Four Fours and one of them Bill Ward will be with Maurice among many other well known musicians from New Zealand's entertainment industry.
On board ship with The Four Fours on the way to England, it was decided to change their name for the overseas gigs. Each member wrote down their preference and they were put into a hat. Maurice picked one out of the hat and that is how they became Human Instinct.  The Sunday concert however is Human Instinct and Friends.  

The photo is of Maurice Greer.

Posted on 12 Jan 19


On Thursday George Stewart interviewed Mayor Greg Brownless during his morning broadcast.
There were many subjects discussed during the interview including to name a few, The Museum and the multi million dollar costs, the decision by one vote for the new long winded name for the Phoenix Carpark in Mt Maunganui, which he voted against.
The sad looking retail sector in the CBD due to new construction work.  The new University, the proposal to run 'clearways" along Cameron Road, to give buses exclusive lanes morning and night.  Also the horrendous traffic jams, which unfortunately are all part of a growing city.
The rates increase of 3.7% and the much larger increase being imposed by the Regional Council.
The Mayor will be spending Christmas at home but hopes to take a break in January to do some sailing.

Posted on 20 Dec 18


The Volunteers at Village Radio would like to wish all our listeners A Very Happy Christmas and New Year.

The Christmas Day broadcast will be pre-recorded and compiled by Peter Shaw.
Boxing Day broadcasts are as usual. Peter Donnelly will take you through the morning followed by Brian Williams in the afternoon. Please let them know you are listening and ask for any request of your choice.  Of course you can always see them broadcasting live by going to the Historic Village and visiting our studios.

Posted on 18 Dec 18


Yes, it is our 34th Christmas Party that we celebrated on Sunday.  Unfortunately because of the bad weather we did not have the numbers we would have liked but the warmth of our Friends of Village Radio and our Volunteers that were there made it a very enjoyable afternoon. One Volunteer called us 'The Village Family' and that is a very true statement.
We were entertained by the Bay Dixie Band who kept us entertained with some great music. Check out our Facebook Page for a short video.
Chairman Steve gave a speech of welcome and caught up the Friends of Village Radio with all our latest news. We had some wonderful raffles and a great afternoon tea supplied by our wonderful Volunteers.

Posted on 27 Nov 18


So far we have welcomed 11 out of the 117 Cruise Ships expected to visit Tauranga this season.  We at Village Radio have had the pleasure of giving some of these passengers a tour of our Radio Museum and our Studios.
We have had many special moments with our visitors.  Brian Cotter went the extra mile on one occasion. After his broadcast on his way to his car he spotted a couple from Vancouver, Canada, who had visited the studio, waiting for the bus to take them back to the boat.  He said he would take them back but on the way he gave them a 'tiki' tour of Tauranga.
A couple from Sydney, Australia came for a tour, Steve was the announcer for the afternoon and asked them if they wanted a request. They picked Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison.  He asked the lady visitor if she liked Rock n' Roll she said she loved it so they started to dance in our studio, while the record was playing.
We remember the gentleman who on seeing a radio that reminded him of his parents cried happy tears just for the memory.  Another gentleman that asked for a request and went to the café across from Village Radio got a coffee and sat outside listening on our outside system with tears in his eyes.  He remembered what that record meant in his life.
It is moments like these that make us proud to be Volunteers for Village Radio.

Posted on 20 Nov 18


The results of the voting at the A.G.M. are as follows:-  
   Chairperson             Steve Lambie         
   Vice-Chairperson      Brian Williams
   Treasurer                 Kelvin Roach         
   Station Manager       George Stewart 
   Secretary                 Judith Lambie
   Committee               Bonnie Cherrington
                                  Jim Brynes
                                  Brian Cotter
                                  Sid Pavett
                                  Sheila Lacey

Steve Lambie (Photo) thanked all the Volunteers that attended the meeting.

Posted on 15 Nov 18


Our twin sister Radio Station in Christchurch, Radio Ferrymead, have now moved into a new building.  They are not open to the public yet as they have the task of moving all the equipment from the old building.
The last week of August was hectic as the shift had to be made on the three days the station was not on air.  People helped in shifting records, including a group from Riccarton/Wigram Lions Club as well as a number of Radio Preservation Society members.    Technicians worked on fine tuning the console and further electrical features were installed.
It was decided that longest serving announcer Maureen Watkins would open the first broadcast in the new studio.

Photo is of Tony Forster and Maureen Watkins during the first hour of broadcasting in the new studio.
More photos in our Photo Gallery.

Posted on 28 Oct 18


After reading on our Website about the history of our large collection of vinyl records stating that the donated record tracks were handwritten by Alan Brammer  and posted to "a friend in Wellington who would enter these details onto his computer, print them out and return the printout to Village Radio". Tony King got in touch with us and stated that he was 'the friend'.  His parents retired to Tauranga so periodically he would visit Village Radio and was invited to join in one of the Telethon events.  In 1988 Tony was recognized for his efforts with the database and was presented with an "Honorary Life Volunteer" membership accolade.
As a hobby letterpress printer he printed, a visitor card. a historic summary and letterhead for Village Radio and had an interest in the letterpress printing setup at the Historic Village. 
His interest in broadcasting lead to a contract with Radio NZ International in the early 90's handling overseas mail and presenting a fortnightly Mailbox programme for 3 years.

The photo is a photo of Tony King

Posted on 26 Oct 18


Brian Cotter interviewed the multi talented Marian Burns on his programme on Saturday.  She first picked up a violin when she was 6 years old and she has been unstoppable since then. 
She received the "Benny Award" in 2012, Australia's Best Fiddler as a Soloist in 2013 and a Life Time Achievement Award upon celebrating 40 years of playing the violin. In 2018 she received, on Queen's Birthday weekend, the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her dedication to Services to Music.
She has played all over the world and at the Coca Cola's Christmas in the Park played to an audience numbering over 100,000.

Posted on 16 Oct 18


During the next season some 114 ships will visit the Port of Tauranga.  An estimated 317,000 passengers and crew will visit our wonderful city. The number is up more than a third on the 2017-2018 season.
We have already welcomed a number of passengers from the first two ships, Majestic Princess and the Golden Princess to Village Radio. So far we have had visitors, from Australia, Canada, France, Chile and different States of America. 
Although the majority of ships are here just for the day nine ships will have overnight stays.

The photo is of Dr Dave and Carole Thomasco - Dave is an ex disc jockey (Dynamite Dave) - from Santa Barbara, USA

Posted on 16 Oct 18


This afternoon a group of senior students from Te Puke High School, accompanied by their IT Manager teacher, Armand de Villiers, paid a visit to Village Radio Museum to see how we operate, with a view to starting up a Student Radio Station. Our Station Manager George Stewart demonstrated how he plays his vinyl programme from the vintage equipment and library in Studio one.
George also showed the group around the museum and record library.  

From the left:- Josh Russell, Armand de Villiers (IT Manager), Dylan Sheppard, Briana Pelham and Duncan Bentley

Posted on 25 Sep 18


Speaking with Brian Cotter this morning from Brisbane was Glenn Moffatt, Country song writer and performer. He was raised in Napier, after quitting his job as a newspaper reporter he moved to Auckland to pursue his musical ambitions. 
His debut album in 1995 was 'Somewhere in New Zealand Tonight.' Two albums followed "A Place to Play" and "If That's What You Want" recorded in 2001 before relocating to Brisbane. There he formed a band Glenn Moffatt & The Tallboys afterwards he worked with The Smokin' Crawdads.  
Sony Music NZ included his song "Somewhere in N.Z. Tonight" on their Godzone Country: The Very Best of NZ Country Music CD.
Glenn also talked to Brian about keeping the stories of past and present New Zealand music alive on the website Audio Culture.

Posted on 22 Sep 18


Gate Pa and Te Ranga, The Full Story by John McLean and John Robinson is a new book about the important battles of the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s.  The book was launched on the 21st September and George Stewart interviewed one of the authors John McLean on Saturday.
The book describes how Ngaiterangi came to the Tauranga region, the alliances it made and how the alliances influenced the decision to take up arms against the Crown.  Later they surrendered to the Crown and agreed to accept the law of the land. The book is now on sale.

Posted on 22 Sep 18


Jim Smylie was George Stewarts guest in our studio last Thursday.  He is the current President of the Bay of Plenty Vintage Car Club and owns two vintage cars himself, a black Model T Ford and a Model A Ford.
Jim and his wife Kaaren run the many events that keep the Cliff Road club humming.  Such as the bi-monthly club car runs around the district, the monthly film nights, the "Noggin and Natter" evening outings to Katikati, Te Puke and Tauranga, as well as organising the Cancer Society Daffodil collection and distribution, which raised $2,000 this year.
The next event coming up is the annual "Swap Meet" where owners bring along spare parts they no longer need.

Posted on 15 Sep 18


We are very proud to announce that we have another Trust Power Award to add to our collection.  The 2018 Trust Power Community Award was presented to two of our representatives, George Stewart and Brian Williams on Wednesday evening.  "Presented in recognition as an outstanding contribution to the Western Bay of Plenty District Community.  All of the amazing hardworking volunteers do an incredible job". 
The 2018 Supreme Winner for the Tauranga area was "Under the Stars" group, they help people get off the streets and empower them.  The Supreme Winner for the Western Bay Of Plenty was Maketu Volunteer Coastguard. 
Congratulations to all our Village Radio Volunteers.

Photo from far right, Mayor Greg Brownless, Our Volunteers
Brian Williams, George Stewart, Trust Powers Fiona Smith
WBOP Mayor Gary Webber

Posted on 14 Sep 18


Dennis Marsh was talking with Brian Cotter this morning.  He told us the story of when he was born his Mother did not make it to the hospital and had Dennis on the veranda of his Grandmother's Te Kuiti house, hence 'born under the stars'.  What a star he has become in the Country Music world.  
His early years, he learnt carving in Rotorua and then trained as a builder in Auckland.  In 1984 he was taken to a Country Music Club where he fell in love with the classic Country Music sound. He started performing around New Zealand shortly after. He released his first album 'For You' which got him a gold record and Country Music Entertainer of the Year. Since then he has almost made an album a year and won many awards.  This year sees his 30th album and he said that it will probably be his last.

Posted on 08 Sep 18


Brian Cotter interviewed Caitriona Fallon this morning.  She is originally from Ireland and moved to Tauranga 18 months ago. She met her Kiwi husband in the UK and has 2 children.  At the age of 19 years she got an audition with Riverdance and after singing in the choir for 2 years landed the role of lead singer traveling all over the world.
She has a band, Cookie (Caitriona) and the Vaudevilles  and after the success with a debut album toured renowned music venues around Ireland and Jazz Festivals. She sings a mix of originals, jazz and blues classics.
In fact she was at the Tauranga Jazz Festival in March and sold out her concert.
You can see her on Sunday 9th September at 5-00pm to 8-00pm at Tauranga Citizens Club, door sales only.

Posted on 25 Aug 18


In our studio, to-day, talking with George Stewart was Liam Brettkelly. He is the Pilot/Base Manager of the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter here in Tauranga. With Liam was winchman, Callan.  In fact it is based just across the road from our studios at Tauranga Hospital.
Liam got his pilot license in 1993 and has flown thousands of missions since. The twin engine BK117 replaced the single engine Squirrel that served the region for 18 years.  It has a cruise speed of 120 knots and a range of 600 kilometers (3 hours flying time).
The helicopter can be airborne in 10 minutes, there is more room in the rear for crew to aid patients while airborne, faster, allowing crew to get to patients earlier.  More safety features, including crash-resistant fuel tanks and structures.  However it is more expensive to run, the cost per mission is around $5,000. and is paid through sponsorship and donations. The cost however is outweighed by the aforementioned benefits.

                                Photo Of Liam Brettkelly with the BK117

Posted on 23 Aug 18


A young lady from Japan, Sayaka, visited our studio today.   She spent a pleasant two hours watching our new announcer Peter Donnely and our new operator Derna Bennett working in our Studio One under the watchful eye of long time Volunteer Kelvin Roach.

Posted on 16 Aug 18


Village Radio Museum is helping some students from Otumoetai College in this year's Young Enterprise Scheme, by providing a recording studio for their use.
"Wider Horizons : Tau Mohio Number Knowledge" is the name of their project, which allows anyone to download an App. and listen to 20 poems in both Maori and English.  Each three line poem is supported by a visual image of the sound.

Students pictured are from the left
Maia Turner (13)   Announcer from Tauranga Intermediate
Amia Wharry (17) Communications and Marketing
Adriana Vickers (17) Finance
Phoebe Adler (17) Manager

Posted on 27 Jul 18


Brian Cotter interviewed Tina Cross on Saturday.  Tina came from Otara, Auckland and arrived on the music scene in 1978 with appearances on "Ready to Roll". She had four singles in the charts, "Make Love To Me, "Everybody Let's Dance", Lay Back In Your Lover's Arms" and "Nothing but Dreams" we have these in our vinyl library.   "Nothing But Dreams" was entered into the 1979 Pacific Song Concert and won. In 1980 she performed before the Queen and Prince Philip at the Royal Command Performance in Auckland.
In 1982 Tina left for Australia appearing on TV and doing the cabaret circuit.  She has performed throughout Asia, UK, USA and the Pacific Islands appearing with such artists as Sammy Davis Jnr, Meatloaf and Tom Jones.   She has many awards to her name including in 2007 the Queen's Medal, Order of NZ Merit (ONZM) for her services to the music industry.
Tina has been married for over 30 years to Wayne Sullivan and they have two children.
Tina supports many charities and in 2014 wrote "Walk Away" specially written to help raised awareness of family violence.  She has also created The Power of Song workshop specifically for Prisoners to help them refocus and rehabilitate through music.

Posted on 07 Jul 18


On Thursday Brian, our announcer for the afternoon, had two visitors, Helen Bennett from Tauranga and Heather Charlton who he interviewed. 
Heather Charlton was born in Auckland and studied music at Auckland University.   After graduating with an honors degree in musicology and piano performance, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council scholarship to study the harpsichord at the Royal Conservatorium of Music at The Hague in the Netherlands.
After 2 years she was awarded a scholarship by the Belgian Ministry of Culture to study at the Royal Conservatorium of Brussels.  She graduated with an Honours Degree for the harpsichord and continued for a further 2 years at the Royal Conservatorium of Music, Antwerp, this time graduating with the First Prize for the organ.
Since then Heather has taught music at the Brussels Music Conservatorium and in various music academies in Brussels, She has made recordings for the Belgian television and radio and performed in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


                  Heather is seen here in our studio with Brian Williams.

Posted on 06 Jul 18


In our studio, George Stewart interviewed Jeremy Gooders, St Johns District Operations Manager, Bay of Plenty.    St John Ambulance Services are not fully funded by the Government.  Contracts with the Ministry of Health, ACC and District Health Boards fund just under 70% of the direct operating costs.  The shortfall must be made up from payment of community donations, part charges, fundraising and revenue from other commercial activities. 
The new state-of-the-art upgrade to Tauranga St John Ambulance Station on 17th Avenue, which cost $4.5m funded by charity donations, would stay a functional operational ambulance station, but operate community services like health shuttles, coordinating the caring callers and friends of the emergency department as well. In August there will be an open day for the community to see all these wonderful facilities. 

Posted on 28 Jun 18


The Coastguard premises at Sulphur Point was the venue for the Village Radio Mid Year Christmas Party.   Volunteers welcomed our Friends of Village Radio.  We were all entertained by the Ukulele band with a singalong, Hal Roach (aka Brian Cotter) doing an Irish comedy routine and Jenni who had written and read a poem for Village Radio.
We then tucked into a lovely afternoon tea provided by our wonderful Volunteers, the delicious  Christmas cake was made by Carole who also organised the afternoon.

The photo is of the Volunteers with past announcer Keith Spooner (95).

Posted on 25 Jun 18


Brian Cotter's guest interview was with Santiago Rebagliati who came from a backgrounds as far as Puerto Rico all the way to Italy and Switzerland, where is grandparents came from, New York his Mother's hometown and finally being born in Buenos Aries, Argentina his father's birthplace.
In the last few years he has performed over 120 gigs per year in N.Z., Chile and Argentina.  He has been and still is part of several projects, playing mainly acoustic solo performances since 2012 and collaborating with bigger bands, duos, trios and quartets.
Santiago learnt guitar from some of the best in Argentina, Santiago Ferreiro, Lisandro Fiks amd Mario Fernandez.      At present he is performing around local venues, with fellow Brazilian musician, singer, songwriter and violinist Camila, who is bringing her energy and talent to each performance.
Santiago's dream is to bring the Latin beat to as many places as possible.  He is continuing to bring smiles and dance to people wherever he plays his music. 
You can see a live performance on Tuesday, 19th June at the Astrolabe, Mt Maunganui at 6-00pm.

Posted on 18 Jun 18


The 17th to 23rd June marks National Volunteer Week.  Where would Village Radio be without our wonderful Volunteers? The answer, we would not have a radio station.
It began in 1984 as Sunday only broadcasts and is now 7 days a week, Russ Bain started as a Volunteer in the early days and is still Volunteering for us, that is dedication.  Many of our other Volunteers have been with Village Radio for many, many years and we have had some trying times but our dedication to our Mission Statement:- To provide enjoyable and varied nostalgic music to our listeners always prevails.
We like the quote " Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart", after all Volunteers are the Heart of our Community.
We welcome the new Volunteers that have just joined Village Radio and hope they stay with us for many years.

Posted on 18 Jun 18


Through the Gateway Program at Bethlehem College, 18 year old Daniel has done a 10 week, once a week, course with Village Radio.
His enthusiasm for radio is very evident and he has spent his time learning as much as possible about broadcasting.
The course came to an end on Wednesday 13th June with Daniel doing a solo broadcast using the 'old time' broadcasting equipment and playing vinyl records.
Daniel did very well and at the end of the broadcast was presented with a Certificate and a souvenir album of photos by Kelvin Roach and Jim Byrnes, which were taken during the 10 week course.   Also present was Daniel's parents and grandparents.

        Photo - Daniel during broadcast.  More photos in Photo Gallery

Posted on 13 Jun 18


June 4th, Eileen Roach, set up a Facebook page for Tauranga Village Radio. Eileen looks after our vast library of vinyl and cd collections, one of the largest in the country.  It's early days yet but we are hoping to get a few of our listeners and Friends of Village Radio following us on Facebook.
Each day has a photo of the announcers on morning and afternoon duties, plus the phone number for requests.     
It would be interesting to find out if there is another radio station that has been on air for over 34 years and which is run exclusively by Volunteers, anywhere in the World.   Let us know if you know the answer.

Photo Eileen Roach

Posted on 10 Jun 18


It is that time of year when in May we celebrate New Zealand Music Month.   To put it simply it is to celebrate music from New Zealand and the people who make it. Village Radio has always prided itself on being a dedicated supporter of New Zealand Music of the past years.   
Our library contains hundreds of vinyl records including nearly a 1,000 tracks of Maori songs by different artists.  
In 2001 APRA invited it's members to vote what they believed to be NZ's top songs of all time. 
The winner (1)  Nature 1969 - Fourmyula   (2) Don't Dream It's Over 1987 - Crowded House  (3) Loyal 1988 - Dave Dobbyn (4) Counting The Beat 1981 - The Swingers  (5) Six Months In A Leaky Boat 1982 - Split Enz  (6) Sway 1997 - Bic Runga  (7) Slice of Heaven 1986 - Dave Dobbyn  (8) Victoria 1982 - Dance Exponents (9) She Speeds 1987 - Straitjacket Fits (10) April Sun In Cuba 1978 - Dragon.
Remember to tune in to Gail Wood every Wednesday between 4-00 and 5-00 pm for N.Z. Music Hour.

Posted on 10 May 18


Ian Magan is a pioneer in radio and concert promotions and was interviewed by Brian Cotter on just part of his varied career.   He was born in Hamilton, went to college in Matamata and worked for the Agricultural Department.  He later joined the NZBC at Wanganui Radio.
In 1960's he was one of the original 'Good Guys' (DJ's) that started pirate radio broadcasts on a ship in the Hauraki Gulf - Radio Hauraki, which has become part of New Zealand Broadcasting history.
He next formed the Concert Promotions Company in 1975 and later Pacific Entertainment in 1995.  He has promoted many of our NZ stars and with Gray Bartlett started getting overseas groups to appear here, the most successful being Dire Straits, which attracted an audience of 120,000 80,000 in Wellington and 64,000 in Christchurch. This was a NZ record which was only recently broken by the Adele concerts.
He now lives in Devonport, Auckland but is still involved with the industry in a consulting capacity.

Posted on 07 May 18


Midge Marsden was born in New Plymouth.  He has sung and played guitar and harmonica to thousands throughout New Zealand, Australia and U.S.A.  His first band was The 'Blue Diamonds" who changed their name to 'Bari and the Breakaways then just the 'Breakaways' which disbanded in 1967.
Midge then joined the NZBC's radio programming department in Wellington.  1969 he had his own radio show, 'Blues is News' featuring his favourite genre, the blues.  He then visited states in the U.S.A. on a regular basis playing the blues.
In fact between 1992 and 1999 he tutored 'bluesology' at Waikato Institute of Technology where he later received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied and received a diploma in the History of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.  In 2006 he was awarded the NZ Order of Merit for services to NZ music.
He was Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and a year later received a Gold Record for his recording of 'Burning Rain'.  Midge is still entertaining but he told Brian Cotter during the interview that he was contemplating retirement after over 50 years.  No wonder he is called "His Midgesty"!!
Photo-shows Midge wearing his NZ Order of Merit in 2006.

Posted on 21 Apr 18


Over 40 years in the world of music, Rodger Fox Big Band has become an icon in New Zealand entertainment. Rodger was interviewed on Saturday by Brian Cotter. 
Rodger was born in Christchurch and spent his early years living in Invercargill, Gore Hawera and Wellington.   He learnt violin (which he hated), piano, cornet and trumpet, then finally trombone.
He formed his Big Band in 1973.  He is also now a lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music.  In 2005 he received an honorary doctorate of music from Massey University and two years later he was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
He has travelled all over the world and brought some of the best international jazz musicians to our shores.   He has appeared at, Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Wichita Jazz Festival and concerts in London, Singapore, Australia, Poland and the USA.

Posted on 14 Apr 18


Our Chairman, Steve Lambie and his wife Judith called in on our sister Volunteer station Ferrymead.  Steve was interviewed by Tony Forster, Ferrymead's Secretary, for some 20 minutes. They discussed the differences between the two stations with more discussions after the interview.
In their present premises they have no toilet, having to use a Portaloo, no kitchen, the announcers have to bring a thermos. Their new premises will be a palace in comparison.  They will have a large area, with two studios, a museum which will house their large record collection plus a large storage area. .  They have 27 years of donated records they have to catalogue which at present are all in cardboard boxes.
Photo of Steve Lambie in Ferrymead's studio

Posted on 12 Apr 18


New Zealand's singing star, Suzanne Prentice was interviewed by Brian Cotter on his Saturday morning show.   Suzanne was born and lives in Invercargill.
She became a professional performer at the age of 17, her recording career since then has proven a series of gold, platinum and multi platinum successes.  Her album, One Day At A Time  was one of Australasia's top selling country albums of 1980.
In 1995 she received the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to music.  In 2016 she received the highest honour for a New Zealand entertainer, The Benny Award, from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand.

Posted on 12 Apr 18


In our latest interview with The Bay of Plenty Symphonia music director, Justus Rozemond, he talked about the amazing find of 1906 handwritten manuscripts and signed by English composer, Gustav Holst here in Tauranga.
He told George Stewart that he and librarian Gloria Pheasant were having a tidy-up of the Symphonia's sheet music library and found the manuscripts.
Bronya Dean an orchestra member contacted the Holst Archive in England and almost immediately received a reply to say that the handwriting and signatures were original and authentic.  In February this was confirmed.    Since when there has been great interest throughout the music world.
The Symphonia will play these finds in a concert on Sunday 15th April, 3pm at Baycourt, Tauranga.  The concert will also include the choir, Scholars Pro Musica, directed by Chalium Poppy.    A free talk will be given prior to the concert at 2-15pm by Dr Bronya Dean focusing on the discovery.   The original manuscripts will be on view in the fioyer of Baycourt.
Photo from left - Bronya Dean, Gloria Pheasant and Justus Rozemond looking at one of the manuscripts.

Posted on 05 Apr 18


Kevin Greaves, one of New Zealand's busiest entertainers, was interviewed from Whangamata where he had been appearing, by Brian Cotter.  
Kevin is one of 14 children born in Auckland, his father being the late Rusty Greaves who in 1976 received a Benny Award, so it followed that in 2017 his son Kevin also received the award.  Kevin is a country and popular music singer and his act also includes comedy.  He has spent 14 years in the U.S.A. and Nashville scene.     
Kevin is one of a handful of international artists to have appeared at the Famous Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee.  His father being the first. His album I'm Not Scared of Women went to Gold Status for sales in N.Z. even outselling Garth Brooks.

Posted on 24 Mar 18


The familiar voice rang out over the Village Radio microphone on Sunday morning (18th March) - Bonnie Leonard was back on air.  The 'BUT' is that it was just for one broadcast.
Bonnie was in Tauranga for a visit from her home in Gore, catching up with family and friends.  The studio was busy taking the phone calls and welcoming visitors to the studio, all eager to welcome Bonnie back, even though it was for just one morning. 
Pictured - Bonnie on air reading out the many requests she received.

Posted on 19 Mar 18


We have made the front page of the Bay News here in Tauranga.   The headline is "Shout out for volunteer radio announcers".  On page two and three is the article.  It begins "Village Radio is hoping to attract some new volunteer announcers with an interest in nostalgic music to strengthen its ranks".
George Stewart our Station Manager explained that the announcers roster had sometimes become a juggling act especially during the holiday period.   He stated that the announcers come from different walks of life and some of them had no experience in broadcasting before taking up the challenge.   Full training would be offered in our two studios for those who wanted to be part of the friendly team.
George can be contacted on 571-3710 to 576-6170 for those interested.
George Stewart is on the front page holding one of our vinyl records, one of many thousands we have in our library.

Posted on 16 Mar 18


Heather and Larry Johns from Vancouver, Canada are in Tauranga for their second visit to New Zealand, which they love. They enjoyed the fabulous scenery, lifestyle and another attraction is that people always make them feel at home. 
George Stewart, our Thursday announcer gave them a tour of our studios which they loved.  Larry has an interest in music and radio and at one point was a DJ for CBC Radio Station in Yellowknife NW, in the far north of Canada.   Heather said that if they were to stay here for any length of time he would certainly be a Volunteer at Village Radio.
Photo of George sharing a joke with our visitors.

Posted on 24 Feb 18


Amy her real name, was born in New Jersey, U.S.A. From a very musical family she started playing the piano around 4 or 5.  Amy began writing songs as a teenager.
Overseas adventures beckoned and Amy headed to the UK, where she joined the band Dreamfield for two years, adding piano and backing vocals.  She moved to New Zealand in 2003 where after a ten year break from music, she launched her solo career as Parabola West.  The name came from Amy's investigations into making a parabolic solar hear. "The light comes from all different directions, but focuses on just one spot," she explained, "Music is like a parabola."
Married to David they decided to get out of the rat race that is Auckland to live in Raglan, where she feels more connected to nature and has changed her music accordingly.
She does 'home concerts' - 20 or more people getting together at someone's house.  "I love doing the home concerts.  Whenever I travel I try and do a couple of home concerts. It's really my favourite way to sing because you get to connect with people and have a chat."
Parabola will be appearing at The Historic Village on 17th February at 6-30 pm.

Posted on 10 Feb 18


One of our Social Events where we, as Volunteers, get together is on Waitangi Day.  For the second year we spent an very enjoyable time at Kelvin & Eileen's home in Welcome Bay.  
The year has bought many changes, some of our Volunteers are new to our organization, so it was great that we could all meet at a social time especially with our partners.    There was much laughter, music, swopping stories and some of us finding out that we had mutual friends without realizing it.   It goes without saying the food was fabulous!!!
Our photo - The OLD and the NEW - George Stewart (long time announcer) and Jim Byres (the new boy).
More photos in the Photo Gallery

Posted on 09 Feb 18


Wednesday we were happy to greet the cruise ship Viking Sun passengers to Village Radio. At times the studios were full of overseas visitors asking all about our organization.  One gentleman stood still at the top of the stairs, when asked if he was OK his reply was, "I have never heard this type of music for years, oh how I wish I could get this station in Canada".
Other remarks that were recorded in our Visitors Book were, Awesome, Great Music, Wonderful Experience, Great Trip to the Past, Wonderful Enthusiasm, Beyond Expectations and of course Great Music, plus many more.
Our visitors had great photo opportunities sitting in our oldest studio, adorned with headphones and talking into the microphone (circ 1930's).
The photo is of Jack Eyler of Southport, North Carolina
A couple of other photos are in our Photo Gallery.

Posted on 31 Jan 18


On his Saturday morning show Brian Cotter interviewed Murray Mason.  Murray is a 'multi instrumentalist' who has had a passionate, enthusiastic and action packed career in music education, spanning 35 years in the classroom.
After leaving school in Matamata he went on to the University and Training College in Hamilton where he met his wife.  They both became teachers and eventually came to Tauranga.  Murray became the Head of Music at both Tauranga Boys and Girls Colleges.
Murray has also been involved as a Musical Director of many successful and award winning youth based and adult musical groups, including the Bay Big Band, a position he held for 13 years.
Although now retired from the Tauranga Big Band he is still performing with smaller jazz trios.   Check out one of Murray's compositions on the link below: -

Posted on 23 Jan 18


In our studios on Tuesday we had a group from the Rotorua Gardens Lifestyle Complex.  One of the visitors Richard, was very pleased to see, in our Museum, not only vintage radios, record and cassette players, recording equipment etc. but some old Morse code units.   Having been a Morse Code operator in his Navy days he spent no time trying it out as seen in the photo.

Posted on 23 Jan 18


George Stewart's guest on Thursday 21st December was the Mayor of Tauranga, Greg Brownless.  In a wide ranging interview the Mayor was asked about the City Council's plans to cope with an almost exploding population, clogged City streets and a sad and empty looking shopping district in the retail sector of the City.
He did agree that while the Council had voted for a new museum, it's final location along Cliff Road was by no means certain and the community would be asked for their opinion, before construction commenced.   He agreed that more than just Durham Street would benefit from being reconstructed, to become a friendly pedestrian precinct.
Mr Brownless then wished all the Village Radio listeners a Safe and Happy Christmas. 

Posted on 28 Dec 17


Saturday, 16th, was our Christmas party.  It was attended by our Friends of Village Radio, Volunteers and to entertain us the Rock and Roll Dancers.
We had a singalong first then into the wonderful food.  After which we drew the raffles. At the door everyone was given a raffle ticket. There were 8 gift baskets as prizes. Our wonderful Volunteers had donated the goodies in them. 
Santa (Chairman Steve) and Mrs Claus (Secretary Judith) made an appearance and many of our guests had photos taken with them.
You can check some of the many photos we took in our Photo Gallery.
To all our Listeners, Volunteers and Friends of Village Radio we wish you all a Healthy, Safe and Peaceful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

Posted on 21 Dec 17


Our Chairman, Steve Lambie has put together a display for our Museum.
Everything from small transistor radios, record and cassette players and recorders, stereo units, old NZPO equipment. Plus our old transmitter, which served us well for many years.
Names such as Philips, Ariel, Gerrard, Courtenay, Braithwaite, Sanyo, Tech, Murphy, Panasonic etc are on display.  We have an overflow of items in Studio 2 at the station.
The exhibits have been donated to us over 33 years.
The Museum is open the same time as our broadcasts.
(More Photos in our "Photo Gallery")

Posted on 19 Dec 17


Eddie Lowe was interviewed on Saturday from a very hot Christchurch.  He has been called "The Voice In A Million", although he plays musical instruments, including piano, trumpet, flute, most brass instruments, guitar, string bass, violin and piano accordion, making him one of New Zealand's most versatile entertainers.  He did tell Brian Cotter the one instrument he does not play are the bagpipes!
He was born in New Zealand and in the early sixties Eddie joined the Sundowners.  Then he was with the Truetones before moving on to become a member of the Quin Tikis showband.  In 1966 Pacific films made a N.Z. musical comedy called "Don't Let It Get You" with Howard Morrison and Kiri Te Kanawa and including the Quin Tikis.
Then having gone solo he was noticed by Joe Brown and Joe signed him up to his record label.  Eddie went on to record albums in the U.S.A, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In 1970 he released some songs that he had been singing very successfully on tour.  Including "You Better Sit Down Kids"/'I Want To Be Free" and "It Don't Hurt Anymore/"Save The Last Dance For Me".       In October 1972 he was invited by the Country Music Association of America to take part in the Grand Ole Opry birthday celebrations held in Nashville. After more tours overseas he became known as New Zealand's International Singing Star.  In the late 70's Eddie moved to Australia  but now lives in Christchurch.  In 1980 he signed a recording contract with RCA.  He has recorded over 23 albums and many singles and is still entertaining to-day.

Posted on 10 Dec 17


Another icon of New Zealand music spoke with Brian Cotter during an interview via phone.  He is English born Trevor Hales, better known to his many fans as Shane.  After appearing with The Pleazers he decided to go solo and was spotted by TV producer Kevan Moore and was made resident singer on the pop show C'mon replacing Mr Lee Grant.
His biggest hit is "St Paul" written about Beatle Paul McCartney.  It topped the charts and took out the Loxene Golden Disc for local song of the year in 1969.  A string of hits followed and after 52 years in show business he is stopped in the street by loyal fans.
This year he received the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queens Birthday honours.  The honour commends his annual North Shore concerts which have raised more than $50,000+ for the North Shore Hospice.
He still performs just about every week and lives in Auckland.

Posted on 01 Dec 17


Another interview was on Saturday 18th November, with one of New Zealand's icons of music, Tom Sharplin, a Rock and Roll revivalist.  He was born in Auckland but raised in Tauranga.    He had five singles in the 1970's, the first in 1971 was "Love Is A Beautiful Song"/We've Got A Groovy Thing Going",  He enjoyed chart success by making it to number 12 on the national charts with it.
In 1982 he formed a group called Tom Sharplin and the Cadillacs with "Endless Sleep"/"I Was A Fool" and Sweet Lolita"/"Guitar Boogie.   Tom toured up and down New Zealand supporting Johnny Devlin, Maria Dallas, Nash Chase, Angela Ayres and many more.
He remained quiet on the recording front until 1978, when he released an album Rock N' Roll which was released as "Rock Around The Clock in 1982.  He has been President of the New Zealand Variety  Arts Club who raise money for Children's charities.  He is still tours around New Zealand  

Posted on 24 Nov 17


On his Thursday programme George Stewart, interviewed Jenny Argante, author, literary editor and proofreader.  She is also Information Officer for the Tauranga Writer's Group, an Incorporated Society dedicated to promoting emergent and established literary talent.    She is also the Bay of Plenty Regional Representative for New Zealand Society of Authors.
Originally from England (once married to an officer in the RAF), Jenny came to New Zealand to visit one of her children and stayed!  She is also had extensive personal involvement in the local literary scene as a professional book edit, "new book" promoter and supporter of the wider creative arts.

Posted on 24 Nov 17


As you will have read in previous news items, Brian Cotter of Village Radio, broadcasts all telephone interviews on Saturday mornings.  It was Brian C's turn to be interviewed by another Brian, Brian Williams our Station Manager.  He spoke from Napier where at the invitation of Celine Toner he was a guest at the Napier City Country Music Club's 40th Anniversary Reunion as he was an Inaugural and Past Patron.
350 guests from New Zealand and Australia attended the celebrations to make it a huge success.   It was also a Tribute Show for current President and Charter member Lindsey Wraith who is unwell.
Brian and Jim Toner started the Club in the mid 70's.  The whole Toner family have had successful entertainment careers.  Father Jim recorded as the "Glasgow Cowboy", he passed away in 2007.  The three daughters, Celine, Lynne and Adrienne perform together as The Toner Sisters and have toured throughout New Zealand and brother Ricky made a name as an impersonator of Billy Connolly.
Brian C told Brian W that although the weather had turned cold in Napier it would be great to meet up with his old friends.
Photo:-  Brian Cotter and Lindsey Wraith

Posted on 14 Nov 17


Entertainer Celine Toner was born in Scotland, with her family they settled in Napier in 1974 she was 11 years old.  Talking with Brian Cotter on his Saturday morning broadcast "Village People" she reminisced about her late father and Brian (Cotter), forming the Napier City Country Music Club in the mid 70's.  She will be performing in Napier on Saturday 11th November at the Club's 40th Anniversary Reunion.
As a member of the Club she went on to win awards including sponsored visits to Nashville and performed with International Country Artist George Hamilton IV.
She married Barry Green and set up Limelight Productions, a very successful promotions company.  After the birth of daughter Samantha, now a recording artist in her own right, Celine joined the Scots Dragoons International Pipe Band and toured with them.  She supported Kenny Rogers, The Little River Band and Ricky Scaggs, toured South America and China, appeared at Conferences in Australia and NZ and various music festivals.
Sisters Celine, Lynne and Adrienne toured as a trio throughout New Zealand.
She has informed several NZ Entertainment Icons, now living in Auckland, of the "Village People" specialist interviews, so there should be more interesting stories coming up.

Posted on 07 Nov 17


Susanne Lynch (nee Donaldson) MNZM, was born in Wellington in 1951 she is a singer, vocal coach and backup singer.  She moved to Auckland where she stills lives. 
She spoke to Brian Cotter, of her link to Tauranga, aged 7 she entered a Talent Contest with her sister Judy and won a 'chicken'.  
In the 1960's with her sister, Judy, became famous as "The Chicks", they appeared on the T.V. series 'C'mon' in 1967. Their last appearance was in 1970 at the Royal Variety Show at Western Springs in front of Prince Charles and Princess Ann.
In 1969 she became a solo performer in a follow up show 'Happen Inn'.   The following year she was voted N.Z. Entertainer of the year and won a Loxene Golden Disc in 1972.
She married Bruce Lynch and moved to London where she worked as a session musician then became part of the Cat Stevens shows for 5 years and appeared on several of his albums.   While on tour in N.Z. Val Doonican asked Susanne to appear on his T.V.  In 2001 she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Entertainment.
In 2008/2009 series of 'Stars In Their Eyes' and 'N.Z. Got Talent' she was vocal coach and backup singer.   Still active as a singer she is part of "The Ladykillers" along side of Tina Cross and Jackie Clarke.

Posted on 21 Oct 17


That is how Brian Cotter introduced him on his Saturday show, 14th October. Brian is very proud to know and have worked with Gray over 50 years.  Brian counts this interview as a highlight for Village Radio.
Gray Bartlett is a guitarist, country music performer, talent mentor, tour promoter and entrepreneur.
Gray grew up in Auckland, joined a 'Skiffle Group' at age 15, then started his own "Gray Bartlett Combo'.
With Brendan Dugan, Jodi Vaughan the trio established some type of record in New Zealand in having performed together for over 40 years and still going.  They are putting together a "legends Show" including Eddie Lowe and others.  They start in Kerikeri on 28th October working their way down South.  They are looking forward to a show in Tauranga, the date to be set.
He has toured UK, America, Australia and New Zealand. He was the backing artist for the Rolf Harris TV show for 4 years. Backing artists like Tom Jones, Connie Francis, Bobby Vee, The Hermits and Michael Crawford.  He maintains that experience as a highlight of his career.  He received the M.B.E in 1987.
As a Concert Promoter he promoted serveral New Zealand singing stars, Hayley Westenera, Yulia, Will Martin and Elizabeth Marvelly among others. 
Photo is right Gray Bartlett with Village Radio's Brian Cotter


Posted on 15 Oct 17


Jodi Vaughan is a musician, country singer, songwriter, recording artist, television performer, and actor.  She was born in 1950, Sydney, but since 1975 has called New Zealand her home.  At one stage she and her New Zealand second husband lived in Tauranga.  She now calls Hamilton her home.
She was spotted in 1976 on the final of South Pacific Television's The Entertainers by Gray Bartlett and he asked her to join him and Brendan Dugan in their act. This began a partnership with Gray and Brendan  that would endure for many years. Their greatest successes have been in each other's company.    The trio toured almost constantly to every small town and big city in the country. 
In conclusion she promised our announcer, Brian Cotter, that any time he wanted her to sing she would do so, at Bayswater Retirement Village where Brian lives.

Posted on 09 Oct 17


Maria Dallas (Marina Devcich from Morrinsville), talked by phone from Maroochydore, Australia to Brian Cotter.  She spoke about her life in the sixties. From being  hairdresser and the second youngest of twelve children to her first record "Tumblin Down"and a winner of the Loxene Golden Disc Award. During her career she released 10 albums and at least 25 singles.
She spent a successful recording time in Nashville and on returning to New Zealand in 1970 her recording of "Pinocchio" went to No. 1 on the national charts for 6 weeks.
Joining the conversation in the studio  was Ken Wadsworth, a Village Radio volunteer and ex member of the The Satellites, who had appeared with Maria during those early days.   For many years Maria has lived in Australia.
We have 70+ tracks of Maria Dallas on both 45's and 33rpm in our vast vinyl  library.

Posted on 11 Sep 17


Roy Phillips of The Peddlers fame was interviewed by Brian Cotter on Saturday, but this time not in our studio but by phone.  Roy was appearing in Napier that night and then Tauranga on Sunday the evening of 27th August.
Roy went on to say he was born in Poole, Dorset in the UK and that he got into music by listening to his Dad's wind up gramophone.  
The Peddlers were formed in Manchester in 1964 the other two of the trio were, Trevor Morais and Tab Martin. 
They went onto sell 45 million records.  (We have 50 tracks of the Peddlers in our library, so put in a request.)
The Peddlers appeared at the Pickwick Club in London and the audience loved them. Their one month engagement turned into an eighteen month gig - they had hit the big time.   At the club they were 'spotted' by Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme and for five years did seasons in the USA at places like the Flamingo Hotel and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
The group disbanded in 1976 and Roy found his future in songwriting, penning over 200 songs.
While touring New Zealand in 1969 he fell in love with the laid back lifestyle and the people. In 1981 he moved here, firstly to Paihia, then Queenstown and now lives in Christchurch. 
Photo is of Roy Phillips with Brian Cotter after the concert.

Posted on 26 Aug 17


On Thursday 15th June one of our pioneers of Village Radio, Kel Raine, gave his last broadcast.  He first became involved in 1986, just 2 years after the station commenced.
Kel and his wife Anne spent many hours, over a number of years organising and cataloguing the record library, as well as Kel announcing, sometimes twice a week.
Also there were late nights spent ensuring the transmitter and other equipment would be ready for broadcasting the following day.
Many thanks Kel for helping create the station that hundreds of listeners enjoy every day and your many years of dedication. 

Posted on 20 Jun 17


The Nautel solid state transmitter commenced broadcasting on Friday 16th June 2017.  We are receiving excellent comments from listeners reporting a clearer reception in areas which were previously inconsistent.
The first music to be play on the 16th June was "Blue Smoke", the first record wholly produced in New Zealand from composition to pressing.
A huge thanks to George Stewart and particularly Ted Adelman who has literally gone the extra mile to get the Nautel Transmitter up and broadcasting, two trips to Taupo that we are aware of, to tap into additional experience when problems were encountered.

Posted on 20 Jun 17


Village Radio's sister station in Christchurch is Radio Ferrymead and is shortly moving to new premises.  Ferrymead Heritage Park owns the land and they own the building on it.  The building is old and damp and is not good for volunteer staff or radio displays.

A committee decision was made to build their own modern, dry building of their own.  They had 18 years of savings in various investment accounts so the journey began. They applied for funding, a number of times, but with no success.

Fortunately for them they received two bequests from people who had loved the music they play on Radio Ferrymead. That really helped.

The concrete floor was poured a week before the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and so it had to be ripped up and started again.  Once the shell of the Council building was completed they started on the internal fit-out.   A small band of eight spent every Thursday morning on working bee duties. They are getting near the end of it all but have no final date for moving in.




Photo - Radio Ferrymead, nearly complete, new building.  For more photos visit our Photo Gallery.




For further information visit

Posted on 11 May 17


James Wood our popular announcer met his name sake when he visited our station.

The other James Wood has been an announcer on a community station back home in Lincoln, UK.

He is at present on holiday in N.Z, with his wife Linda.





                                                     The two James's.

Posted on 06 May 17


Everyone knows the Beatle's song "With A Little Help From My Friends", well that is what happened to us on Monday, 3rd April.
The new Nautel Transmitter arrived from overseas and of course the problem was to get it up to our studio and up the narrow steep stairs.  It was removed from it's crate, on hand were Steve, George, Brian and Neil, but we needed even more manpower. We borrowed, Neville from the Men's Shed, he came along a with a very useful forklift and hand trolley, which we could not have done without.  We even had help from a couple of visitors to the Village.
So to all our "friends" we say a huge THANK YOU.
The transmitter will be installed by our specialist technician, Ted Adelman, some time this month.

Posted on 04 Apr 17


Bonnie Leonard, has sadly resigned. She has been an announcer, board member and Co-ordinator of the Friends of Village Radio since July 1993 (nearly 24 years).she is on her way to the Mainland, Gore.  Bonnie has spent 58 years in Tauranga so made many, many friends who are going to miss her as we are at Village Radio.
She was given a great farewell party on Saturday, 4th March at the Village Hall in the Historic Village.   Entertainment was provided by the the popular, Bay Dixie Band, followed by a sing-a-long with Shirley Hanly.
Volunteers from the station, friends and Friends of Village Radio were in attendance to bid her a fond farewell.   Bonnie will broadcast her final programme on 12th March 9-00am to 1-00pm.
Please go to our Photo Gallery for more photos of the day. 

Posted on 06 Mar 17


Village Radio Fundraising Committee have been trying for quite a while to purchase a new transmitter which unfortunately we could not afford.  The ones we use are getting worn out and we don't know how much longer they will last.
At our Waitangi Day Get Together it was announced by George Stewart that we now have the funds to purchase the transmitter.
Thanks to Pub Charities and The Lion Foundation grants and support from Friends of Village Radio, we have ordered the equipment. To be delivered shortly.
                                                                         The Transmitter.

Posted on 10 Feb 17


On Sunday the Friends of Village Radio were treated by Jack Van Den Hoven when he drove his 1923 Studebaker Vintage car to one of our get-togethers.
Jack has had "Rosie Studebaker" since 1958, which he purchased her for the princely sum of $75.  It was Jack and his wife, Jenni's only car for a few years.  He finally got 8 Studebakers, but as he stated he is now down to 6!!   As they have 5 children, each of them now own one Studebaker each.  Jack drives his 1963 Studebaker, as he says the others are somewhat slow to drive on our busy roads.  He is a member of the B.O.P. Vintage Car Club and "Rosie" and a vintage Rolls Royce were the first members when the Club began.
Jack has written a book on Rosie's life as if she was telling the story.  He calls it an Auto-biography.  Unfortunately this is now out of print.
The photo is of Jack with "Rosie". 

Posted on 25 Jul 16


Village Radio has a sausage sizzle and vinyl record sale in operation every first and third Sunday of the month at the Lions Market Day at the Historic Village.  This is one of our fundraising events to keep the station on air.

Last Sunday the village was a hive of activity with around 60 stalls and hundreds of people visiting the market.

Our chief 'sizzler' is our Station Manager Steve Lambie ably assisted by Judith Lambie and Brian Williams.  When possible other volunteers from Village Radio are there to give a hand. (See Photo)

Posted on 05 May 15


On the 5th January 2013 the 75 year old Collins Transmitter went on air without a hitch. The transmitter is only the second known to be operating in the world and was restored by our technicians at Village Radio, Russ Bain, George Stewart and Neil Walsh. (Please see photo).   It has been out of action for 13 years but has been painstakingly restored by the technicians and a grant from the Lotteries Commission.

Village Radio will continue to rely on it's more modern 1960's Toshiba value transmitter, leaving the Collins as a back-up and for special occasions.





From the left, George Stewart, Russ Bain & Neil Walsh

The Announcer for the day was Peter Shaw

Posted on 20 Jan 13