Supported with funding from NZ On AIR and owned by the Canterbury Communications Trust not-for-profit access radio station, Plains FM, has provided the means for a huge variety of community groups, organisations, educational institutions and individuals to have a voice in the media since 1988.
Naoko Hiruma has been presenting her own programme, now known as Japanese Downunder, on the community radio station Plains FM96.9 since 2002, when she was only 21 years old. She had then come to Christchurch for one year to learn the English language, which she considered to be an important part of her four-year media studies Chiba University, near Tokyo.
Cartolina is a fortnightly programme on community radio station Plains FM96.9 that presents information on Italian culture and local events with Italian connections in the friendly, laid-back style of its producer, Wilma Laryn (see photo). The title, Cartolina, is Italian for Postcard, referring to the easy-going way of presenting the show’s message.
Siale Faitotonu has been broadcasting his ever-expanding radio programme for the Tongan people for 23 years on Plains FM96.9. Now going by the name Faka’amanaki, the show provides news and support for Tongans, particularly those settling into a new country. The programme’s title, Faka’amanaki, means “Hope for…” and applies to everything from “Living” to a “Better Future”. The show’s original name had been Taka-i-Fonuamahu (Living in the Promised Land).
New Children of who attend the Sri Lankan Language and Cultural School in Christchurch play a large part in the production of Plains FM96.9’s radio programme about their cultural heritage, Samadhi – Voice of Sri Lanka. Under the guidance of the co-ordinator of the school, Dr Kalyani Wijayawardana, the children help to host the half-hour show, which is broadcast at 1.30pm every third Saturday of the month, and repeated at 3.30pm on the second Sunday.
New Zealanders have an automatic connection to Nepal through the conquest of_ Mt Everest on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary and a Nepali Sherpa, Tenzing. Many Kiwis are also aware of the Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese nationality whose motto is “Better to die than to be a coward.” “The Ghurka were an integral part of UK military and there are even some in the Indian army,” says Binod Parajuli, who talks about many aspects of Nepalese culture, music and news on the Plains FM96 radio programme, Namaste Nepal, every Monday at 8pm, with a repeats on Thursdays.
Jalsa Fiji Radio, which is broadcast weekly on Plains FM96.9 in Christchurch, has evolved as a two-part programme that provides both local and overseas news on Indian culture. Broadcast live every Saturday, the show now takes the form of Jalsa Fiji Radio Dip Chick Moments, which is presented from 5.30pm to 6pm; and Party Hour, between 7pm and 8pm.
Reza Jarvandi is presenting a Farsi-language programme, Toranj, on community radio station Plains FM96.9 that is of interest not only to Iranians but also covers people from other countries where that language is spoken, such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan and a part of India. The 30-minute, fortnightly programme started at 7pm on Wednesday, January 11. It is funded by the Ethnic Communities Development Fund.
Presented in the Vietnamese language, the Plains FM96.9 radio programme “Nhip Cau Thong Tin” (“Making Connections”) provides the opportunity to obtain information on settling and integrating into a new country for Vietnamese people living in Canterbury, as well as possible immigrants still living Vietnam who are being given access to podcasts of the show. Some of them download the podcasts and listen to them in their own time.
Marlene Isaks has been the voice of Africans living in Canterbury for seven years through her programme, “African Flava”, which is broadcast fortnightly on the community radio station, Plains FM96.9. Born in South Africa, Marlene came to New Zealand with her parents 13 years ago and began the show in 2010 as “South African Flava”, when it was sponsored by Safari Meats.
Following up on Prime Minister John Key's announcement made mid last year of granting skilled migrants and entrepreneurs more points towards residency if they agree to live in the regions, the Government will be announcing the policy details early next year. Minister of Small Businesses, Craig Foss, who is also the Associate Minister for Immigration informed this while attending the Small Business Roadshow organised by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, on November 7, in Christchurch.
"Especially here in New Zealand, we are all New Zealanders, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, we see ourselves as part of NZ and NZ is part of us. We are not going to apologise for someone else's misdeeds."