40 Years of Access Media

Access media throughout New Zealand are celebrating a milestone – turning 40 and launching a book about their history.

OAR FM Dunedin is part of a grassroots network of 12 community access radio stations that has evolved over 40 years into an alliance of broadcasters that transmit daily in more than 49 languages, and publish a massively diverse array of podcasts online.

Known now as CAMA (Community Access Media Alliance), the network brings together communities, allowing volunteers to create their own radio shows and podcasts by, for and about their diverse communities.

Whether your interest is Buddhism or feminism, mental health issues or niche music tastes, or maintaining your culture through your heritage language, there is a programme for that on Access media.

Celebrating the 40-year milestone warranted a book. Sharing the Mic – The History of Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand was launched in April in the Grand Hall at Parliament at an event hosted by the Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Hon. Kris Faafoi.

Researched and co-written by Brian Pauling and Bronwyn Beatty, of the NZ Broadcasting School/Ara in Christchurch, the book travels the country, chronicling the people and stories that have shaped Access media.

The book is available for purchase via the Freerange Press website and local bookstores.

Photo: Milestone: OAR FM Community Connector Arina Aizal with a book tracing the 40-year history of Access media in New Zealand. 

Radio Show for Climate Action Group

The Dunedin branch of socio-political movement Extinction Rebellion is making its voice heard through a programme and podcast on OAR FM Dunedin.

The Environment Awareness show provides a platform for discussion on issues of climate change, social justice, biodiversity loss and potential ecological collapse.

Programme coordinator and host Jen Olsen said she hoped listeners would be inspired to listen to the conversations and ask themselves what they could do to help avert a climate crisis. Governments and other institutions had “not acted quickly enough” to keep global warming below a level that would maintain life as we know it.

“Unless people know what’s happening, they’re not going to support the actions we think need to happen.

“We’re totally committed to non-violent direct action, because writing petitions and asking nicely has not worked.”

Extinction Rebellion protesters had on three occasions in recent months occupied Dunedin rail tracks with the objective of delaying trains carrying coal from Western Southland to Fonterra’s Clandeboye plant in South Canterbury.

“We fully support the movement to end the use of coal, the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in New Zealand.

“It needs to be stopped, so it’s a continuing focus.”

Environment Awareness airs every second Tuesday at 1pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Dunedin Yoga Lady Shares Experience

The marketing of yoga as a pastime for only the young and beautiful is a troubling phenomenon for one local practitioner.

Kate Bendall, known as the Dunedin Yoga Lady in her fortnightly OAR FM radio show and podcast, has noticed an “explosion” of images depicting lithe and youthful yoga practitioners across social media.

“You could argue it’s a good thing, with more exposure and more people coming to yoga, but I think the opposite is happening,” she said.

Such images were falling into a very narrow band.

“I’m 55 now and started yoga when I was 18, so it’s this mixture of recognising for myself that the yoga that I see, doesn’t relate to me at all. There are so many other people out there who can benefit from yoga, particularly at the moment.”

Ms Bendall has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and practicing for 35 years consistently. Through her local Temple Yoga practice, she shares her experience of traditional classic yoga that includes mantra (sound), visualisation, meditation, philosophy, as well as specific bodily postures.

The radio show and podcast covers how yoga might help address some of the major struggles that people might face, such as anxiety and depression, as well as the deeper philosophies that listeners might apply to their daily lives.

Dunedin Yoga Lady airs every second Tuesday at 10.30am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Women on the Turntables

A move to Dunedin for a former Auckland-based DJ has placed the music of women artists to the fore on OAR FM’s Thursday drive-time slot.

Kristina Simons, who spins tracks under the moniker Tina Turntables, spent close to eight years as a regular host on Auckland student radio station 95bFM.

On her arrival in Dunedin midway through 2020, a voiceover job on local writer Kathryn van Beek’s Pet Podcast series brought Ms Simons into contact with the local Access Media station. The opportunity to host her own drive-time programme was discussed, leading to the development of Thursday show Pull Up To The Bumper.

Ms Simons said her new programme provided a platform for “the godmothers of modern music”.

“There are many wonderful women artists, such as Ma Rainey, who were considered too popular by many of the collector-types that were around in the 1940’s. These collectors focused on the more obscure, mainly male artists and that’s what became more popular over time.”

The show “celebrated these incredible women” and traced their influence on contemporary music.

Being a drive-time show, there would be plenty of fun and a wide range of music styles that reflected Ms Simons’ love of soul, funk and rock music.

“And I want this show to be as inclusive as possible, including tracks from trans and non-binary women.”

Pull Up To The Bumper airs every Thursday at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Clinic Goes Beyond The Script

A new radio and podcast series on OAR FM Dunedin is exploring a key aspect of healthcare.

Beyond the Script features conversations with clinical pharmacists from the University of Otago School of Pharmacy Clinic, He Rau Kawakawa Whare Haumanu, sharing insights into the clinical consultations that help patients review and manage their medicines.

The clinic, located on campus at 325 Great King Street Dunedin, provides consultations free of charge to those in the area, and online via Telehealth. Pharmacists listen to patients’ concerns and questions, provide information and advice, and can work with health care providers to help patients get the most of their medicines.

In the first episode of Beyond the Script, clinical pharmacist Emma Smith discusses aspects of dementia with Dr Yoram Barak, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Otago School of Medicine and consultant psychogeriatrician at the Southern District Health Board.

Topics include the various different forms of dementia, the common signs to look for, and what someone should do if they, or someone they are close too, are showing signs of dementia.

The early stages of dementia are a good time to find out about what support and choices are available, including through the School of Pharmacy clinic.

Beyond The Script airs on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 12.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Community Connector for Access Station

OAR FM Dunedin’s Community Connector – Arina Aizal

OAR FM Dunedin is putting extra effort and resource into its mission to reflect the cultural diversity of Dunedin.

Arina Aizal is the access media station’s new Community Connector intern, a role that will see her extend and strengthen links with migrant communities through opportunities to create radio programmes and podcasts.

Ms Aizal helped establish the Muslim Chaplaincy Conversation programme on OAR FM and is now also hosting her own show The Arinality, which features stories of women and their cultural identities, exploring their sense of belonging and wellbeing in New Zealand.

A recent visit to Dunedin by Shane Whitfield, Regional Manager for Community Engagement at Office of Ethnic Communities, saw Ms Aizal take the opportunity interview him about the Ethnic Communities Development Fund for a new Connecting Cultures Features podcast.

OAR FM’s new Community Connector will also be working with the station’s existing broadcasters, to help them strengthen connections with their audiences, and will assist with development of Youth Zone programming.

Ms Aizal, who grew up in Malaysia, is a former International Representative for Otago University Students Association and is currently a leadership network member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Anyone wishing to get in touch can email arina@oar.org.nz or call the station on 471 6161.

The Arinality airs every second Wednesday at 5.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts 

Women’s Experience Explored on Radio

Iram Anjum host of Being Women

Every woman deserves to be appreciated and encouraged. That’s the thinking behind new radio programme and podcast Being Women, on OAR FM Dunedin.

Iram Anjum settled in Dunedin with her husband and year-old son in September 2019. Her experience of relocating from India, balancing the transition into work while raising a child, was the subject of an episode of another OAR FM show, Migrant Motherhood.

Ms Anjum said the conversation on motherhood sparked an idea to create a series that further explored her Indian culture, climate, food, art, and fashion through discussion with other women, who could compare and contrast their own experiences and values.

“The show is also about what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century, throwing some light on the different roles of a mother, a partner, a wife, a daughter or a friend.

“And if you are a working woman, how do you toggle between work and your home responsibilities? We’ll talk about that.”

Making a radio show was also an opportunity for Ms Anjum to further develop her communication skills.

“As a speaker of Hindi and Urdu, gaining more confidence in the English language, meeting people and making new friends is really great for me.”

Being Women airs every second Tuesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Young Voices Added to Samoan Radio Shows

Timothy Elisara, Clinton Pupi and Jasmine Eteuati

Dunedin-based students have joined a growing community of Samoan volunteer broadcasters on OAR FM Dunedin.

New programme Lupe o le Foaga is coordinated by Clinton Pupi, a student of Media, Film and Communication at University of Otago.

Mr Pupi is joined by co-hosts Jasmine Eteuati and Timothy Elisara for the Friday evening show. It airs ahead of Lupe Fetala’i, three hours of Samoan music, events and conversation presented by Lupe Fa’alele a Samoa i Otago, a Society of Samoans living in Otago.

On Sundays at 8am, the station also broadcasts and podcasts Lupe o le Talalelei, a short programme of Christian worship in Samoan language, led by ministers and pastors from Samoan churches in Dunedin.

Mr Pupi said the youth show Lupe o le Foaga provided a platform for discussion about such things as study practices, job seeking and opportunities for young Samoans in Dunedin to stay connected.

The bilingual programme acknowledged that some Samoan listeners were not fully proficient in English, while others were not proficient in the Samoan language.

“We are still finding our feet with the programme but next year we hope to connect with our audience more and come up with content that will help Samoan youth with anything they need.”

Lupe o le Foaga airs on Fridays at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Unique Cultural Performances

Young Dunedin musicians and creative performers have been given an opportunity to express their cultural identities across multi-platform media.

Unique Ōtepoti 2020 is an OAR FM Dunedin initiative, supported by funding from the DCC Creative Communities Scheme.

In March, OAR FM sought registrations of interest from groups and individuals aged 12-18 years looking to share original or traditional music, waiata, kapa haka or spoken word performances.

The vagaries of Covid-19 delayed production of the series, but the first of 10 episodes aired earlier this month.

The young artists are filmed and recorded for OAR FM Dunedin’s Youth Zone. Along with an interview, the footage of the performance is edited together and available to listen to on OAR FM Dunedin, and to watch online.

Skilled musicianship and thoughtful song-crafting have been exciting features of the episodes that have already gone to air.

Otago Girls’ High School student Hermione Hai delivered an exquisite performance on guzheng, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument that is plucked, while Queens High School student Soana Pole celebrated her Tongan heritage through singing Katinia,a song composed by the late Queen Salote for her second son Tu’ipelehake, when she appointed him as a Governor of Vava’u in 1949.

Unique Ōtepoti 2020 airs on Thursdays at 5pm or 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts and videos are available from the free Youth Zone app, and videos can also be viewed on YouTube and YZNZ.app

Radio Pharmacist Returns

Dunedin pharmacist Peter Barron has returned to radio after a more-than 10-year absence.

Mr Barron presents weekly show The Radio Pharmacist on OAR FM Dunedin, offering plain-language insights into appropriate use of medications, and exploring wider issues of health and wellbeing.

The former Radio Dunedin contributor has expanded the format of his on-air segments, now producing and hosting his own half-hour programme of advice and opinion.

Mr Barron says his aim is to encourage better health outcomes, whether medications are prescribed, self-prescribed or bought over the counter.

“One of the more worrying trends is that about 70 percent of people (prescribed) regular medication either don’t take it at all or only take it occasionally.

“Why this is happening is one of the things we’ll talk about on the radio show.”

Listeners and visitors to Mr Barron’s workplace, Waverley Pharmacy, are welcome to anonymously suggest other topics for discussion. The Radio Pharmacist Facebook page is another way to get in touch, and a website is currently under development.

“When I talk with people, rather than to them, I hand the power back to them.

“I like to give people an explanation as ask, what do you understand about it? It puts them back in control of what’s going on for them.”

The Radio Pharmacist airs on Tuesdays at 12pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from [HERE], Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.