On 1 Jan 1960, the Post & Telegraph Department was renamed the New Zealand Post Office (Post Office Act – 1959), but remained a government department.
On 31 Aug, international telex service using HF radio began.
An increasing number of small ships about our coasts are being fitted with radiotelephone equipment. Since last year 160 more ships have gained radiotelephone facilities for communication with shore stations, bringing the total to 1675.
Marine radiotelephone communications are expanding because more small shipowners appreciate the value of the safety service given by Post Office and private coast stations.
The Post Office coast radio stations at Auckland, Wellington, and Awarua maintain continuous watches on the two international distress frequencies, while the 76 private coast stations maintain irregular watches on one of the frequencies.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the State Services noted that “we have little doubt that in the long run the telecommunications business will become independent of the Post Office in one form or another.”1
On 19 Oct, the last of New Zealand’s remaining Morse telegraph landlines were closed.
On 29 September 1966, the official inquiry into the loss of MV Kaitawa recommended that coast radio stations be equipped with audio recorders. The MAYDAY message from Kaitawa was garbled when received at Auckland Radio ZLD, with some vital words missing. There was no subsequent contact with the vessel, which sank with all hands near Cape Reinga.
1 Wilson, A.C. (1994). Wire and wireless: A history of telecommunications in New Zealand 1890-1987, (p 147), Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.