The wireless station at Tafaigata, Samoa, 4-5 miles southwest of the capital Apia, began operation in 1913. The original callsign VMA changed to ZMA in 1927.
Approximate location of the wireless station
A Press Association report from Sydney on 7 August stated:
Island news states that the wireless station at Apia (Samoa) is expected to be working this month, and that the range will probably be 1200 miles.
The capture of German company Telefunken’s transmitter in the hills behind Apia was strategically important as it was capable of sending signals to Berlin and to the German fleet in the Pacific [during World War 1].
When New Zealand troops reached the wireless station [in 1914] it was found that some essential parts of the engines which drove the dynamo had been removed and some of the aerials tampered with. Preparations had also been made for the destruction of the wireless station using dynamite. The aerials were quickly repaired and communication restored by 30 August. (undated quote from Archives NZ)
The New Zealand Expeditionary Force sent to Samoa in 1914 included the following wireless men:
Sgt Major Ernest Dunwoodie appointed Commanding Officer.
Ernest Dunwoodie appointed Officer in Charge.
Ernest Dunwoodie appointed Chief Postmaster and Superintendent of Radio.
Postmaster and Superintendent of Radio, Ernest Edward ‘Dun’ Dunwoodie retires.