Today | 15 years on air...

It was just after the midday news, Saturday October 16th, 1993 when I got paid for turning on a microphone for the very first time. Radio Nelson 89.8FM was the station and as far as I was concerned, I'd made it!

I was pretty lucky to get in there actually. I'd managed to blag some work experience through a bloke named Jason Wawatai who, as well as being daytime announcer, was also a City Councillor. I did up a tape for the Programme Director and breakfast host, Tony "Flew" Flewellyn and he said, "Not bad. Do one to our format." I did, he said he'd be in touch if anything came up, called me a day or so later and said, "What are you doing on Saturday?"

I was in. For about $8 an hour!

I've moved round quite a bit over the past 15 years, I spent a couple doing weekends at Radio Nelson, saw it become Classic Hits and then moved to Oamaru in 1995. Almost a year there and I was off to Whangarei for 4 years and a station called 93ZM. Then to Auckland and the ZM Network, Classic Hits Network nights and to Wellington a year and a half ago.

While I've been doing this for 15 years, I'm still a young fulla with a lot to learn and a lot of old heads I need to credit for helping me.

Thanks to Jason Wawatai for getting me the work experience in Nelson and Flew for hiring me. Mark Bunting and Grayson Ottaway for nurturing me back then as well.

Thanks to Murray Madden in Whangarei for not firing me in the slashings and networking of the late 90s and to Grant Hislop for moving me to Auckland. Christian Boston made me halfway decent at being on air and Dallas Gurney made me better and let me run.

Nowadays, along with Dallas, Jason Pine (who was also in Nelson back at the start) is keeping me on track for the future, a future which is hellishly uncertain in this world of broadcasting, podcasting, thiscasting, thatcasting and everyothercasting.


  1. Congratulations Dave on fifteen years and still going strong!

    Don't suppose youv'e got some photos of yourself back then when it all started in Nelson?
    Especially of you in the Studio back then with your earphones on and giving someone a bit of SHITE on the old microphone.
    It would be good if you could share them with us all.
    You know, like a then and now shot of you so we can see what all those crazy hours of work during that time has done to you Mr Smart (or maybe, hasn't done to you!)

    Enjoy the rest` of your holiday big guy!

  2. Smarty, a fantastic achievement in our industry.


  3. Congrats Dave! Well done on 15 years :)

  4. And the chain continues.. Your advice, feedback and encouragement has inspired people like....well, me! Thanks man, hears to the next 15 years - and an unavoidable spot on Coast :D

  5. Sorry I missed your anniversary! But Congrats to you now! I had no idea you'd been doing this gig for so long! You're awesome!