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Rhema (New Zealand)

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Rhema (New Zealand)

Rhema
Broadcast area New Zealand
Frequency 35 frequencies
Owner Rhema Media
Website Official website

Rhema (formerly Radio Rhema and New Zealand's Rhema) is a New Zealand evangelical Christian contemporary music radio network. The network targets families, with a strong focus on relationships, marriage and parenting. It broadcasts a range of music, current affairs interviews, conversations, teaching programmes and on-air charity fundraisers.[1] The name "Rhema" comes from the Biblical word rhema. The network's relaxed talk and music format, in which a limited number of teaching programmes are intermingled with music, news and interviews, was created by its founding station manager John McNeil.

Rhema participates in public service campaigns, including the annual nationwide Shake Out earthquake drill organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management.[2] Radio educator Peter Hoar has described Rhema's beliefs as "straight down the middle of the non-denominational Christian highway". He claimed it held to the doctrines of special salvation for believers and eternal damnation for sinners. He called its music "bland but positive".[3]

Rhema is the flagship radio network of Rhema Media, New Zealand's largest United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) group, and aims to reach everyone in "the right format at the right time", to promote the "saving power of Jesus" and the "reality of God's grace".[4]

Contents

  • History 1
    • Early years (1974-1982) 1.1
    • Nationwide roll-out (1982-2003) 1.2
    • Frequency renewals and Margaret Mahy cancellation (2003-2010) 1.3
    • Interview and contributor controversies (2010-2012) 1.4
    • Modernisation process (2013-) 1.5
  • Programmes 2
    • Contributors 2.1
    • Former hosts 2.2
  • Broadcasting 3
    • North Island frequencies 3.1
    • South Island frequencies 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

Early years (1974-1982)

Pat Robertson endorsed Rhema's broadcasting application in 1974.

Rhema was first proposed by youth evangelist Richard Berry in the 1960s as an alternative to the publicly-owned and largely secular stations of the recently created New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.[5] Berry set up a studio and transmitter in an old Christchurch church building, but initially failed to convince the Broadcasting Authority there was a need for a Christchurch radio station funded and operated by evangelicals as a Christian ministry.[6] The authority refused to grant the station a license 1972, deciding there was not enough public interest in the station and it did not have enough funds and professional staff.[5]

Pat Robertson endorsed the station in 1974, helping to raise sufficient funds and employ 21 staff. It was denied a license on its first application in 1974, but received one-day licenses for Christchurch in November 1974, Petone in October 1975 and Christchurch for 10 days over Christmas in 1976.[5] The broadcasts had to be medium wave, live broadcasts, and no more than 100 watts and live. The station was also instructed to only broadcast to supporters, but it was unclear how this goal could be achieved.[6] In an official newsletter, the station promoted itself as "the one way sound" and as a "complete radio station ready for action to God be the glory".[7]

At a hearing for a full license in 1978, after the three broadcasts, it had 7,235 members, 48,433 other supporters and the endorsement from churches and community groups. The application was successful and Radio Rhema was officially launched in November 1978. At the launch, prime minister Rob Muldoon said the station was inspired by "a faith that moves mountains".[5] The station was originally allowed to broadcast six hours a day on weekdays and 18 hours a day on weekends. It became the first permanent Christian station in the British Commonwealth and one of the first Christian broadcasters in the world.[6] Rhema obtained an 18-hours-per-day license in Christchurch in 1980, by which time it had thirty five full-time and ten part-time workers. In 1982 it gained a license in Wellington, and bought property and hired six staff in Auckland.[5] This established the station as permanent, and allowed it roll-out a network around New Zealand.[7]

Nationwide roll-out (1982-2003)

Radio Rhema was rolled out nationally in the following years, fundraising for new frequencies and allowing local church groups to set up

  • Rhema Media

External links

  1. ^ a b c d "Rhema". rhema.co.nz.  
  2. ^ Chipp, Jim (21 September 2012). "Drop, cover and hold".  
  3. ^ Hoar, Peter. "Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet". The joy or radio. Peter Hoar. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Rhema History". rhemamedia.co.nz. Rhema Media. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Wooding, Dan (1 January 2003). Never Say Never: The Story of the Rhema Broadcasting Group: A Modern-Day Miracle.  
  6. ^ a b c d Atkinson, Perry (30 August 2011). "The United Christian Broadcasters Story - Hal Short - theDove.us" (Video interview).  
  7. ^ a b "Radio Rhema newsletter, about 1975" (Historical artefact).  
  8. ^ "Rhema Broadcasting Group Chairman steps down" (Press release). Voxy.co.nz. Rhema Broadcasting Group. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Wooding, Dan (2010). "'"The future of Christian radio in New Zealand is 'at stake. Identity Network. ASSIST Ministries. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Bennik, Nicole (24 September 2010). "Christian radio praying for a money miracle".  
  11. ^ "Extra time to save broadcasting group". infonews.co.nz.  
  12. ^ a b Drinnan, John (11 March 2011). "Media: Radio deal a mockery of free market".  
  13. ^ "Govt lends MediaWorks $43m against advice".  
  14. ^ "Papamoa Skyline no longer punctuated by radio mast". Golden Sands Papamoa. Bluehaven Management. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Rhema says no to Mahy".  
  16. ^ Taylor, Steven. "cartooning history: some thoughts on Margaret Mahy’s Awesome Aotearoa". emergentkiwi.org.nz. Steven Taylor. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Slater, Cameron. "Whale Oil - Radio Rhema".  
  18. ^ Bradury, Martyn. "Right wing Christian radio on attack". Tumeke. Martin Bradbury. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  19. ^ Farrer, David. "CTU v Whale".  
  20. ^ Slater, Cameron. "Helen Kelly threatens Radio Rhema".  
  21. ^ Brittenden, Pat. "Helen Kelly, Cameron Slater and the Ports Fiasco". patbrittenden.com.  
  22. ^ Wishart, Ian (15 March 2012). "Trade union waves lawsuit under God’s nose in ports dispute".  
  23. ^ Slater, Cameron. "The Huddle at 1740".  
  24. ^ Brittenden, Pat. "Public Statement about leaving Rhema". patbrittenden.com.  
  25. ^ Brittenden, Pat. "UPDATE, Friday 30/11, 3.18pm". patbrittenden.com.  
  26. ^ "Banks: I believe Bible's account of how life began".  
  27. ^ Fletcher, Kelsey (2 September 2012). "Banks' Old Testament beliefs create 'conflict' in role".  
  28. ^ Anthony, John (2 July 2013). "Newspaper boss moving on".  
  29. ^ "Rhemia Broadcasting Group rebrand to Rhema Media" (Press release). Voxy.co.nz. Rhema Media. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  30. ^ Trevett, Claire (17 April 2013). "Conservative candidates under scrutiny".  
  31. ^ "Luke Weston". linkedin.com. Luke Weston. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "Meet the Team". strength2strength.co.nz. Strength to Strength. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "The Valley of Dry Bones".  
  34. ^ "FindMy Real Estate Agent news highlights". findmyrealestateagent.co.nz. FindMy Limited. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "About us". sanctuarygardenslandscaping.co.nz. Sanctuary Gardens. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "About us - Team". careersure.co.nz. Career Sure. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  37. ^ "Speakers". familylife.co.nz. Family Life New Zealand. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "Radio Rhema phone interview with Blue Nation". bluenationcrew.co.nz. Blue Nation. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "What we've said". presbyterian.co.nz.  
  40. ^ "Two veteran broadcasters and journalists join forces for a ‘News Run’ across New Zealand". Sloppy Noodel. Assist Ministries. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  41. ^ "Drowning in depravity".  
  42. ^ Mussen, Deidre (24 February 2009). "Who is Family First?".  
  43. ^ Laugesen, Ruth (12 August 2007). "For God and country".  
  44. ^ Focus on the Family (17 May 2007). "Lobby group offers help through smacking mess".  
  45. ^ Latif, Justin (23 May 2009). "Tim on mission to help families".  
  46. ^ "Katikati Christian Centre". apnz.org.nz. Assemblies of God New Zealand. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  47. ^ Foster, Merle (5 January 2014). "Entertaining the airwaves". Sun Media. SunLive. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

References

South Island frequencies

North Island frequencies

Broadcasting

After hosting Rhema's drive programme for several years, Rob Holding went on to be a pastor of Kaitaiki Christian Centre in Kaitaki, and station manager of independent Christian music station His FM.[46] Christopher and Graeme Crowther, Auckland identical twins with perinatal asphyxia, met Holding during his time at Rhema and were given the opportunity to co-host the drive show, talk to callers, push buttons and choose songs. The pair now help Holding run the station for four days each December.[47]

Former daytime host Tim Sisarich, previously a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961.[44] Sisarich has spoken at churches and public meetings as a self-styled family man and parenting guru.[45]

Bob McCroskrie hosted Radio Rhema's breakfast and talkback programme from 2002 to 2006, before setting up conservative lobby group electoral finance reform, child discipline reform and same-sex marriage.[42] McCroskrie has also urged political parties to adopt conservative Christian policies. Some Rhema Media advertisers are also financial backers of Family First.[43]

Former hosts

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand moderator Graham Redding has appeared on Rhema on a regular basis. In 2009, he appeared to discuss church volunteers, climate change and Christmas consumerism. In 2010, he discussed the church's new internet-based advice service, and a new guide on children and parenting social issues.[39] Californian journalist and ASSIST Ministries founder Dan Wooding has been a regular correspondent on the drive programme, increasing his appearances from three times a week to five times a week in 2011.[40] Rhema's night programme is hosted by Rosemary Jane.[1]

Many of Rhema's guests discuss current issues affecting young families, like real estate, home loans, gardening and careers.[34][35][36] Some guests, like marriage and parenting speaker and author Nikki Bray, have appeared on several occasions.[37] Others, like Blue Nation super-yacht crew trainer Claire Boggiss, have appeared for one-off interviews on the station.[38]

Contributors

The network also broadcasts teaching programmes from Joyce Meyer, Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey. Some hosts also work as counselors, church pastors, stand-up comedians and MCs.[32] Hosts have also endorsed events.[33]

Rhema broadcasts five main shows on weekdays. Rhema Breakfast with George Penk and Andrew Urquhart airs from 6.00am to 10.00am, and includes entertainment and prizes. Rhema Mornings with John Peachey airs from 10.00am and 1.00pm, and includes detailed discussions of major news stories. The magazine-style afternoon progaramme is hosted by Diane Campbell, and airs from 1.00pm to 4.00pm.[1] Rhema Drive airs from 4.00pm to 7.00pm, and is hosted by Luke Weston, a former drive host for UCB UK and Life FM.[31] Rhema's night show is hosted by Rosemary Jane, and airs from 7.00pm to 12.00pm.[1]

Programmes

In 2013, the Electoral Commission referred two Conservative Party of New Zealand candidates to Police for filing false electoral returns in 2011. The candidates, Peter Redman and former United Future MP and Tauranga city councillor Larry Baldock, were accused of "paying, or arranging a person to pay" election expenses over the $25,000 spending limit. The charged carried a maximum prison term of two years and a maximum fine of $100,000. The allegations related to the joint purchase of advertising on Rhema, with Baldock booking 60% of the airtime and Redman receiving 40% of the airtime. They later discovered Rhema had only run Baldock's ads, and moved all the costs to Baldock's returns.[30]

In December 2012, Rhema Broadcasting Group chief executive John Fabran left the organisation. Mike Brewer became chief executive, having spent some time working in television, a decade at RadioWorks' Taranaki division and a further decade as the general manager of Fairfax New Zealand's Taranaki Newspapers company.[28] Under his leadership, Rhema Broadcasting Group was rebranded as Rhema Media in February 2014. Brewer said it reflected the fact the company was no longer focused on broadcasting, and was moving to multimedia and digital-ready products. He said "people now increasingly consume media on their terms, utilising multiple ways to access the content they want, when and how they want it".[29]

Modernisation process (2013-)

During an interview with Rhema in 2012, then ACT Party leader John Banks revealed he was a fundamentalist Christian. He said he rejected Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, was an adherent of the Genesis creation narrative, and no doubt the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis are literally true. He said he believed the world was created in six days, and the world was thousands rather than hundreds of millions of years old. He said he would not impose his beliefs on a lamentable and post-Christian society.[26] Banks was the associate education minister at the time, and was spearheading the introduction of charter schools. He said he was open to teaching creationism in schools, and accused the Ministry of Education of being closed to creationism and dominated by humanist values.[27]

In November 2012, Pat Brittenden made a public statement saying his show and his contract would not be renewed. He said Rhema was changing the morning show from talk radio to Christian contemporary music radio, and had declined his offer to host a music show. He said he was leaving against his wishes, and ending the programme would silence Christian conversations about current issues. He acknowledged Rhema Broadcasting Group had employed him after he had been the most complained about host on Newstalk ZB, but said he disagreed with the new managerial direction of Rhema.[24] After Brittenden made the pubic statement, he said the company disputed the statement and put him on gardening leave.[25]

Pat Brittenden featured blogger Cameron Slater in a weekly segment on Thursday mornings during his time as morning host in 2012. The pair discussed issues like Super Tuesday, the Ports of Auckland strike, paid parental leave, preventative detention, criminal sentencing and wearing religious iconography.[17] In one appearance, Brittenden and Slater were accused of slandering a port union official,[18][19] and Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly was in turn accused of threatening Brittenden with legal action.[20][21][22] Slater said it was his last appearance on the station, and accused Rhema of being cowards.[23]

Interview and contributor controversies (2010-2012)

In 2009, drive host Rob Holding cancelled an interview with children's author Margaret Mahy about her New Zealand history book Awesome Aotearoa: Margaret Mahy's History of New Zealand in 2009. He told Mahy the book, featuring illustrations by Nelson cartoonist Trace Hodgson, was "over the tongue-in-cheek line, bordering on disrespectful in places". Mahy, a Christian, says she was puzzled by the reaction and never set out to offend, but understood different people had a different sense of humour.[15] Christian blogger Steve Taylor defended the decision, saying the book overlooked missionaries providing muskets to Māori during the Musket Wars, but unfairly overstated Samuel Marsden's reputation as the "flogging parson".[16]

Rhema Broadcasting Group covered the cost with no interest loans.[12] MediaWorks New Zealand, a for-profit commercial radio company, was give $43 million Government loan to renew its frequencies in the same renewal round.[13] Radio Bay of Plenty secured commercial loans and The Radio Network covered its own costs.[12] Rhema Media's waterfront transmission mast in Papamoa was removed after almost four decades of use, to make way for a retirement village as part of a new development.[14]

[11] The

Frequency renewals and Margaret Mahy cancellation (2003-2010)

[6] UCB obtained the right to publish

[8]

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