Awanui Radio was a Government (NZ Post & Telegraph) Telecommunications Station, located at Awanui, about 8km north of Kaitaia on the North Island of New Zealand. It was sometimes referred to as the Kaitaia or Doubtless Bay wireless station.
Opened: Awanui Radio officially opened on 18 December 1913, although this newspaper report indicates the station was already in operation on 27 March 1913.
Closed: 10 February 1930
The station was located at -35.083300, 173.241287, or what is now known as 132 Wireless Rd, approximately 4.5km NNW of Kaitaia.
NZA until 5 July 1912
VLA until 31 December 1928
ZLA until 10 February 1930 (closure)
Awanui Radio was virtually identical to Awarua Radio and the two stations officially opened on the same day.
They were each built on a 100-acre site selected by engineers from the contractor (Telefunken) and used a spark gap transmitter rated at 30kW input (15kW output in the aerial) and a massive umbrella aerial supported by a 394 ft tower.
These two high-power stations complemented the lower power (5kW input, 2.5kW output) Telefunken stations at Auckland, Wellington, the Chatham Islands, and on the Government steamship Tutanekai. A fifth low-power set was purchased as a spare. (There may also have been one installed at Rarotonga.)
(For more on the early days of Awarua and Awanui Radio, see When spark was king.)
Although Awanui Radio closed in 1930 (the end of the spark era), a new marine HF communications station, also known as Awanui Radio ZLA, was established on the same Wireless Road site in 1995 by Globe Wireless (since acquired by Inmarsat).
The station callsign changed to ZLA in 1927, and the station closed on 10 February 1930 after only 17 years in operation.
The following photos are courtesy Mark Robinson ZL2TOD and came from his grandfather, photographer Fred Robinson. If you can provide any information about them, please get in touch.