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Flavour of New Zealand

NZ popular culture 1960 onward

Some New Zealand Television History


Channel 2 Auckland

On Wednesday 1st June 1960, the first regular television broadcast began in New Zealand. The only station was Auckland's Channel 2 and the broadcasts were limited to two hours per week on a Wednesday. The Monday night experimental broadcasts which preceded this continued as before.

In 1960 in New Zealand a television set typically cost £216 for a 21 inch model and £156 for a 17 inch model. Of course, in those days the TV sets were all black and white receivers. The average New Zealand weekly wage in 1960 was about £15 15s.

By July that year, Channel 2 had begun broadcasting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights and by the end of the year, was broadcasting 7 nights a week. Broadcasts began at 7:30pm and closedown time was about 9.30pm.


Channel 1 Wellington

On Saturday 1 July 1961, Channel 1, Wellington, began broadcasting. It broadcast from Mount Victoria with repeaters in xxxx and Masterton? The evening news was about five minutes long and was read from typed scripts which the newsreader could clearly be seen handling

Channel 3 Christchurch

Channel 3, in Christcurch, began transmitting on Thursday 1 June 1961 from the mast on 3YA's building. From 1 July 1961, it began broadcasting seven nights a week. At this time the NZ television licence fee was £6/6/-.


Channel 2 Dunedin

Channel 2 (Dunedin) began transmitting on Tuesday 31 July 1962 from a one kilowatt transimitter at Highcliff. The arrival of Dunedin TV brought the number of homes in NZ into what was classed as first-class reception to 48%.


In 1970 there were still four TV stations but their names had changed to: Northern Television, WNTV-1, CHTV-3, DNTV-2. At 7pm each night the four stations carried network news which was 15 minutes long. Typically, daily programming began at about 2:00pm with closedown at about 11:00pm. The four stations more or less ran the same programmes.

Source: New Zealand Listener, New Zealand Year Book