Maritime radio channels will be changing on 1 October 2016
New Zealand, along with a number of other countries, is required to change some maritime VHF repeater channels to make space for newly allocated international services for ship tracking and data services.
On the 1st October, New Zealand will be moving a few private VHF repeater services, most Coastguard VHF repeater services, and all NowCasting weather services. An updated radio handbook and frequency stickers are available with the new changes.
Although some maritime channels will be changing, the existing marine Channel 16 used for safety, distress and calling purposes will not change.
Current radios will be able to access all the available channels after the changes take place. However, you may need to switch to a new channel number to continue to access your local repeater or listen to the weather forecast.
The biggest change is the new 4 digit maritime channels for the Coastguard and privately provided weather service. These 4-digit channel numbers are allocated internationally to new maritime channels. New Zealand will be using some of these new 4-digit maritime channels for the Coastguard and privately provided weather information services.
You will still be able to listen to the weather channels on your current VHF set by simply dropping the first two digits, and using the last two digits of the 4-digit channel number. For example, in the Waitemata Harbour where the new weather channel number is 2019, you only need to use channel 19.
For more information, and to find out which repeater and weather forecast channels you should be using from 1 October 2016, go to www.retune.co.nz