1950 – 1959


The P&T Department formally took control of the New Zealand assets of the nationalised Cable & Wireless Company.

Maurie Challinor joined Auckland Radio as an operator, and recalls:

After training as a Post Office telegrapher, around 1950/51 I was stationed at ZLD Musick Radio, arguably the most enjoyable regular job I have had. Unfortunately, due to staff reduction, I was transferred to the Auckland Chief Post Office telegraph branch, where I spent 11 years.

My final Morse training was done at the Post Office telegraph training school at Trentham Camp. Back in the days it was known as “the Gallery”. We had to pass a test at 22 wpm each way for ten minutes, with only one uncorrected error (spelling mistake) and two corrections which had to be done while receiving.

For qualifying as a radiotelegraph operator, the speed was 25 wpm, same conditions.

During my 11 years at the Auckland telegraph branch I had a couple of six-month spells at the International Telegraph Office (formerly known as “the Cable Station”) on the top floor of the Chief Post Office in Auckland. That was interesting, as they operated 24 hours a day. Night shift was 11pm to 7am, from memory. This was in the time before the Compac cable opened. The signal from overseas was recorded on a siphon recorder as it arrived as a wiggly line on the tape. It also operated a printer (relatively slowly by todays standards).1


Himatangi Radio opened on 9 Nov.


NZPO Report on Overseas Radio Services

» 1960 – 1969


1. Email from Maurie Challinor to maritimeradio.org, January 2021