When you spend time with Mukesh Patel and Neelima Bhula from Aakashwani Bharat Bhavan it is immediately apparent they are deeply passionate about their work and know each other extremely well. And this is hardly surprising, seeing as, along with Beena Patel, the three of them have hosted their radio show together for over 20 years.
‘I came in as a filler to read the news,’ says Mukesh, ‘and then never left.’
‘And I filled in for Mukesh,’ says Neelima, ‘and then I never left!’
The programme began in 1992 and came out of the Wellington Indian Association’s AGM.
‘There was a need for something to promote, foster and further our voice, our culture, and our community,’ says Neelima. ‘We care about our community and we are proud to be entertaining them. We also want to ensure we pass on our rich heritage to our younger generation and contribute to making Aotearoa a truly multi-cultured society.’
Over thirty years later the programme is still going strong, filling their loyal listeners in on local and overseas news, community events and sports, mixed with a wide range of Gujarati, Hindi, and devotional music.
The programme also features interviews with people such as the Indian High Commissioner, the president of the Indian Association, cricketers, musicians, and people in the community.
One of the highlights for Neelima is the live shows they used to do at the Diwali celebrations in Civic Square. ‘We just had an old mobile phone which we used to send the sound back to someone in the studio,’ she remembers. She also enjoys the reunion shows where they bring back the ‘original cast’ - those that started Aakashwani all those years ago. ‘It is their legacy we are continuing.’
Mukesh has enjoyed being the newsreader of the team and has found that there has been a lot of interest in his reports of the prices of gold and silver, and the exchange rate with the rupee and NZ dollar. ‘Diwali is a time where people often buy gold,’ Mukesh explains, ‘so there is always interest around that time.’
The programme has a strong base of listeners who often send messages or come up and speak to the presenters when they see them at events. One piece of feedback that they have taken to heart is something they heard early on in their presenting career.
‘Someone said to me “we can’t see you, but we can hear you smile,”’ says Neelima. ‘I have always remembered that and make sure I have a smile on my face when we start the show. There is always a lot of laughing and giggling!’
You can listen to Aakashwani Bharat Bhavan on Mondays from 6-7pm at Wellington Access Radio 106.1fm, or steam via www.accessradio.org.nz.
For previous episodes of the programme go to https://www.accessradio.org.nz/aakashwani-bharat-bhavan.html
Follow Aakashwani Bharat Bhavan on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/ABBWellington
Aakashwani Bharat Bhavan is proudly supported by the Wellington Indian Association.
Wellington Access Radio are extremely proud to announce that No Labels is a finalist in the Best Access Radio Programme category at the NZ Radio Awards 2023.
No Labels explores the diversity of disability issues with a focus on accessibility for all and gives a voice to those rarely heard in mainstream media. Hosted by Thomas Bryan and Mike Gourley, the programme looks at services which might assist and highlights topics that might pose barriers for those living with or experiencing disability.
The awards entry included Thomas Bryan speaking to Peter Boshier, the Chief Ombudsman for New Zealand, and Mike Gourley speaking to members of aspirational service Maranga, Esther Woodbury, the Lead Adviser on the Disability Rights Team at the Human Rights Commission, and staff and service users at Evaro, a day service for disabled people.
Station Manager Pip Adam says, ‘We’re over the moon for this recognition of the amazing work Thomas and Mike do. No Labels is compelling, thoughtful, and skilfully produced radio. I’m proud of the work Wellington Access Radio’s team do to provide space for media like No Labels. We’re committed to supporting media made by, for and about groups not always heard in the mainstream.’
No Labels is grateful for the support of Wellington City Council.
The New Zealand Radio Awards will be held in Auckland on Thursday 1 June, 2023.
We're super excited to have some great new shows starting this month.
Public talks from around Whanganui-a-Tara. These include artist talks, lectures and poetry readings. For the next little while this will be selectoins from Adam Art Gallery's artist talks.
Podcast series made about issues that concern Wellington Access Radio communities. For the next few weeks it will be the Arts Access Aotearoa podcast.
Friday Feature Album
We're showcasing the amazing musical talent in Wellington (and the rest of the country) every Friday night. Each week will feature a different Aotearoa band or musician's album. Perfect to get you ready for the weekend! This week (March 17) features local punk band Displeasure.
Consume This (starts March 21)
Fortnightly on Tuesdays, 1:30-2:00pm.
Award-winning podcast, brought to you by Consumer NZ, hosted by Jon Duffy and Sophie Richardson.
Kia ora to all those that make or have made programmes on Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM - or anyone that has thoughts to share about the station!
We are undertaking a short survey to help us understand what we're doing well and what we need to improve on. When we say a short survey - it really is very short, promise! We'd love it if you could take a few minutes to give us some feedback.
All answers are anonymous unless you choose otherwise.
Just click on the link to complete:
Wellington Access Radio are excited to announce that 20-26 March 2023 will be ‘CubaDupa Week’ at the station – a week celebrating the amazing CubaDupa, fill to the brim with festival content!
Station Manager Pip Adam says, ‘We’re thrilled this exciting celebration of talent and community is once again taking place in our neighbourhood. We’ve loved speaking with so many of the performers and businesses involved in CubaDupa.’
During the week programme-makers will be creating space in their shows to speak to artists, showcase acts and play music by festival performers, while Massey journalism students will be out on the streets chatting with the shops and businesses of Cuba St.
Station staff are also putting together a pre-festival special, talking to musicians such as Riki Gooch, Anthonie Tonnon, Tia Ward, Mikeyy, Varda, Waguan, Julie Lamb and more. They will be getting the hot takes on what not to miss in the lineup, as well as playing the musician’s own fabulous tunes. The special will be broadcast on Friday March 24, one day before the festival starts.
Wellington Access Radio are attending CubaDupa as a station to conduct interviews, speak to those attending, and record the electric atmosphere. This will be broadcast as two post-festival specials for all those that missed the weekend or who just want to relive the fun and festivities.
A special ‘CubaDupa Week’ programme schedule will be released closer to the time.
award winning 'C-Zone with simon howard' celebrates ten years of broadcasting on wellington access radio
Wellington Access Radio is very proud to celebrate ten years of the amazing C-Zone with Simon Howard.
Simon jumped on board after working on student radio in the UK and quickly took over the Monday Community Drive show, continuing the previous hosts work of focusing on Wellington’s arts and theatre scene.
In the last decade Simon has become an essential part of the capital’s arts coverage, creating a space where artists get to go into depth about their work and creative processes. ‘I call it the preview, rather than the review,’ Simon says. ‘I love building relationships and supporting the artists and creatives that make this place such a wonderful place to live’.
Simon’s personal highlights include interviewing Tim Minchin, watching local artist’s careers develop, and winning The Newsies Award at Nga Whakarākei o Whātaitai Wellington Theatre Awards in 2022.
Station Manager Pip Adam says, ‘We are so grateful and happy that Simon continues to broadcast his amazing show on Wellington Access Radio. C-Zone celebrates Wellington’s vibrant arts scene in ways that amplify and build communities.’
C-Zone is made with the support of NZ on Air.
You can listen to Simon celebrate ten years of broadcasting on C-Zone with Simon Howard on Monday 20 February, 5-6pm, on Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM or livestream via www.accessradio.org.nz
NEW programme gives space to disabled storytellers sharing their experiences of state and faith-based care
Wellington Access Radio is proud to announce an important new programme described by creator Mike Gourley as ‘disabled storytellers sharing their experiences of state and faith-based care’.
‘Lest We Forget – Stories of Survival and Hope’ is an eight-part radio programme in which Gourley creates space for stories that need to be told. Gourley also speaks with academics, disability advocates, and the parents of a disabled person who was taken into care.
The last two episodes feature Sir Robert Martin’s powerful statement of evidence to The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
Mike Gourley has a long history of radio broadcasting and disability advocacy, receiving the Queen’s Service Medal for services to people with disabilities in 2010. You can also hear him on the Wellington Access Radio programme ‘No Labels’, with co-host Thomas Bryan.
‘Lest We Forget – Stories of Survival and Hope’ begins on February 7 on Wellington Access Radio at 6pm. You can listen by tuning into to 106.1.FM or stream via www.accessradio.org.nz, or listen to the podcasts here:
‘Lest We Forget – Stories of Survival and Hope’ is supported by The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
Thank you to everyone who made it possible for Wellington Access Radio to broadcast this year.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy summer.
We look forward to working with you in 2023!
The station playlist is now set for the holiday time.
Thanks to everyone who worked hard to get us prerecords in the last couple of weeks.
Thanks also to all the programme-makers who will broadcast live over the break. We're looking forward to hearing your shows.
As of today, we won't be able to upload any new pre-records.
From 24 December to 9 January there will be no staff in the station and the door will be closed.
But you will be able to:
Wellington Access Radio wishes good luck and have fun to all programme-makers competing in the Freemasons New Zealand Special Olympics National Summer Games – from 8-12 December in Kirikiriroa.
There's a big group from Rise Up, Maranga (R.U.M)!
We'll be cheering for you all!
Read more about the games here