Whangarei Harbour Radio will change its radio frequency this weekend (from midnight on Friday 23 September) to VHF channel 11. A listening watch will be maintained on the existing channel 19 for a week but this will be switched over to Coastguard New Zealand on Saturday 1 October.
Northport, which manages the harbour’s shipping operations centre, is urging skippers of commercial vessels and all local boaties who use Whangarei Harbour Radio to make note of the frequency change.
Whangarei Harbour Radio facilitates commercial marine operations in Bream Bay and throughout the harbour. It is also an emergency and information channel for vessels as far north as Cape Brett and as far south as the Coromandel.
The change is part of an international move to make space in the radio frequency spectrum for international ship tracking and data services. It will ensure New Zealand VHF radio services are compatible with the rest of the world.
Northport recently spent $45,000 on upgrading Whangarei Harbour Radio’s Western Hills repeater station, installing more versatile, solar-powered technology which monitors itself and alerts technicians to faults.