Maritime Radio Channel Changes

As most of you are already aware, maritime radio channels changed in New Zealand on 1 October 2016. We’ve summarised the main points of the change to take note below.


On 1 October 2016, some maritime VHF repeater channels have been changed to make space for newly allocated international services for ship tracking and data services. This frequency change is an international change that will take effect on 1 January 2017 but has taken place in NZ earlier to anticipate the peak summer boating season.

There is no need to buy a new radio as your current Icom VHF radios are still able to access all the available channels. You may just need to switch to a new channel number to continue to access your local repeater or listen to the weather forecast. The maritime channel 16 used for safety, distress and calling purposes has not changed on your Icom VHF radio.

The biggest change you will notice is the new 4-digit maritime channels for the Coastguard and NowCasting weather service. You can still listen to the weather channels on your current VHF simply by 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.

If you have any questions on these changes please contact us.

Back to News