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Meri Kirihimete

Monday 21/11/2022

At the end of 2020, Planet FM purchased a building that was to become our 'forever home' and a dedicated hub for not-for-profit services that specialise in supporting new Kiwis to settle in. The plans for the hub had been underway for over a year, and with the purchase of 875 New North Road, designs were able to begin.

While Covid-19 and consent delays caused some predictable disruption, we were less prepared for the notice to leave our meantime tenure in our trusty Carrington Road studios, home to the station for over fifteen years. As the building progress chugged on, the end of March 2022 found us with nowhere to go. Our transmitter could thankfully be moved to the roof of the New North Road building, with a computer set up on-site to support our airplay and scheduling software. And with that, staff set up at home and Planet FM became a remote-access radio station; a set-up that was expected to last a month or so, until our new home was completed. 

It was around this time that a downpour of rain revealed a roof leak that needed to be repaired before progress could continue. More rain and more leaks meant the repairs took significantly longer than expected, and the final fix wasn't in place until the end of September. 

Progress began again at pace, with contractors re-booked to complete the work that had been on pause until the building was deemed officially leak-free.

So, where are we now? Programme makers that are able to record from home have continued sending their files through week after week, and the station has trucked along remotely. Others, especially those whose programmes would normally go live, have not been able to continue broadcasting at all.

While much of the work will be completed by Christmas, the studios will not be completed until the new year. Moving in and getting acquainted with new studios and new gear is no small feat, but once staff are trained up, we will begin welcoming people in and training for our members will begin.

A small gathering attended a dawn blessing of the building on December 10.

As this fraught year comes to an end, we are still waiting to know when that will happen, but we look forward to bringing you positive news in the new year.

With huge thanks to the wider Planet whānau; most especially our patient, supportive, and innovative programme makers, who have weathered this rough ride with us. We can't wait to see you again.

Meri Kirihimete me te tau hou, 

Christine, Jo, Michelle & Paul

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