Hari huritau ki a Tahu FM! Tahu FM turns 30!

Feb 5, 2021

Tahu FM is celebrating 30 years on the airwaves this February with a month of birthday celebrations.

Commemorations include special guest appearances, giveaways and flashback video reels that will be premiered through the Tahu FM Facebook page.

What began as a simple question over lunch (“Hey cuz, can you help me set up a radio station?”) saw a dream become a reality for Mahina Kaui and Tahu Stirling, the pioneers of Tahu FM. Key changes to the Waitangi Tribunal Act and a need for protection and promotion of te reo Māori as taonga under Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi laid a clear path for their mission. Through their bravery and hard work, the first iwi radio station based in Te Waipounamu was finally launched on Waitangi Day 1991.

Thirty years later, Tahu FM is still broadcasting proudly onto the airwaves, and is also available on digital platforms such as the Tahu FM app and online. Thanks to consistent funding and support from Te Māngai Pāho, the station is now a true multimedia channel with a video production arm specialising in live broadcasting and web series, including the highly successful Tahu Taxi and Beat of the South.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive officer Arihia Bennett says she is proud that 30 years after the station’s launch, the original identity of Tahu FM is still front and centre.

“For 30 years we have stayed true to who we are, not just as an iwi radio station but as a genuine voice for Ngāi Tahu, and the wider Māori community.

“Our underlying kaupapa will always be to share the talents and stories of our people in our voice.”

Tahu FM is widely known to support and foster local talent, from emerging Māori artists to the on-air hosts.

“We’ve seen some real stars through our studios, be they visiting artists, or our radio presenters who have gone on to great things both In Aotearoa and abroad. Our environment is designed to support growth, so that we have a continuing cycle of mentors and mentees.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai – who has a fortnightly kōrero on the breakfast show, Moata Rau with Piki – says she is intensely proud of the history and ongoing achievements of Tahu FM.

“The success of Tahu FM is a true credit to the likes of Mahina Kaui and Tahu Stirling, the pioneers of the station who recognised that it was possible to have our own iwi radio station as a tool to protect, preserve and promote te reo Māori and Ngāi Tahutanga.

“Tahu FM is recognised as a champion of te reo Māori and Māori kaupapa. We are privileged to be a point of difference that inserts a Ngāi Tahu voice and perspective into all that we do. Te Waipounamu audiences are more connected to our shows because they identify with what they are listening to.”

Tune into Tahu FM from Tuesday 9 February as the team kicks off its birthday month with surprise special guests (including some blasts from the past) joining the presenters and fantastic birthday giveaways.

More information

Tahu FM is available on the following frequencies:

  • Kaikoura 90.7 FM
  • Christchurch 90.5 FM
  • Timaru 89.1 FM
  • Dunedin 95.0 FM
  • Invercargill 99.6 FM
  • Sky Digital Channel 42

Or download the Tahu FM app through the website www.tahufm.online