The Team


My passion for radio was ignited by the pirates of Radio Hauraki who took to sea onboard the Tiri at the end of 1966. My Father was a huge supporter of the “Good Guys” and Hauraki was all we listened to at our place. I remember arguing with classmates at school who would listen to ZM because it had less ads.

None of them appreciated the significance of what Radio Hauraki had achieved as being the first pirate station in the world to get a commercial licence and break the state monopoly. The team that started Hauraki are my heroes and I still believe their place in NZ history is undervalued.

Another influence was Warren Male at Coromandel FM. Although a very hard taskmaster and much maligned, he is another radio pioneer. Unfortunately, Hauraki and CFM have been swallowed up by the Duopoly of NZ radio ownership and are no longer free and independent stations.

And now to the present day. What an opportunity Radio Central is and how lucky are we to be in this position. Big thanks to Bill and Nola Willis and Chris Diack for creating Local Radio Central and presenting us and the Central Community with this wonderful platform.

In the spirit of the Pirates and the Pioneers we will do our utmost to create the best community radio station ever. We love our music and we love having announcers live in the studio playing it for you.

Thanks for tuning in.


I was born in Whakatane in the BOP and I developed an interest in radio while I was still young and often bugged announcers for song requests on radio 1XXmy local station. Old timers will remember announcers from back then like Fred Botica and Alan Beagle. I was super excited when I won my first radio comp prize... an Alice Cooper cassette! At nights I tuned into Radio Hauraki to listen to Dr Rock Barry Jenkin play the newest hot tracks .. I remember hearing Dire Straits and Tom Petty for the first time. Then around 15/16 years old .. with no real clue about what I wanted to do with my life .. I started work experience at 1XX. I fell in love with radio, it wasn’t a job it was a life style. I must have hung around long enough because they hired me as a cadet journalist straight from school. I did everything from writing farm reports to reading the news. I’ve been very fortunate in my career .. working in dozens of radio stations around New Zealand and reading the news on John Peel’s BBC radio one show in London during a three year spell in the U.K. Music is a huge passion of mine and it’s fantastic to play and talk about my favourite songs on Radio Central between 12 and 3 everyday.


Henry was born in Wellington on Waitangi Day 1988. After battling through school being a bit of a clown, his parents suggested broadcasting might be a strong career path to pursue. That he did. After completing a diploma in broadcasting in 2006 he landed the job as breakfast announcer (amongst other things) at Maniototo's Burn 729 AM. After 8 months of being on-air, a couple of Speights, some rugby and a bit of hunting he levelled up and got a job with Mediaworks in Alexandra. This role included announcing, journalism and promotions. 10 months later he was promoted to Queenstown, eventually landing the breakfast show on More FM with Margo Berryman. 

His 20s was filled with radio and all community projects that came with it. When an opportunity to play and coach rugby overseas arose, he ran with it. And for two years played and travelled around Germany and the USA.

Since returning to Queenstown in 2018, he helped produce and present a magazine style video production company - Lakes Weekly Bulletin TV. Now, in between local and international TV/Movie productions and a pandemic, he's happy to be back on air with Radio Central!


Born and raised in Sint Anthonis, Southeast of The Netherlands, Esmée is fast adapting to NZ culture. She moved to Queenstown 3 years ago and was only supposed to be here for the season. Shock horror, she loved what she saw and as many have done before her - she decided to stay!

Dubbed as the op-shop queen by her friends and family, she loves dressing up and finding some gems at second hand stores. When she’s not grabbing a bargain, you will find her in the hills, by the lake, or realigning her chakras with some yoga.

She knows her way around a bottle of booze, (only because her first job in town was at Betty’s Liquor Store)! This gave her a first hand taste of kiwi culture & how they enjoy a drink or two (three, four?!). She was soon picked up by local publication the Lakes Weekly Bulletin, where she put her art degree to use as a graphic designer for two years. 

After restructuring due to Covid, she took her redundancy and let fate take over. 2020 has proven to be the year of unpredictability. All of a sudden Esmée was a stilt walking butterfly at the Alexandra Blossom Festival thanks to a new gig with Flame Entertainment! Besides wanting to challenge herself in 2020, another goal was also to start volunteering - Enter Kiwi Harvest, where Esmée helps reorientate food so it doesn’t go to waste.

Because nothing was normal in 2020, she couldn’t deny the offer of Radio Central to bring a bit of European flair to the local broadcast and a bit of Dutch Courage to you all!


Hi there,

I suppose my obsession with Radio begun when I was still a young child, hours spent listening for the “cue to call and win” or taping my favourite songs off 4XOgold on cassette tapes. I’ve always had a passion for music, there is always a radio on in my house ... somewhere.

I moved to the beautiful region of Central Otago in 2014  for my day job, and fell in love with our local radio station very quickly. After a chance meeting with one of the owners, I asked what would be involved to “have a go?" After a very nervous beginning in 2015, I’m still loving it like it’s my first show every Saturday morning.

My music taste is definitely the best music of the 60s 70s and 80s – which is probably my favourite decade, it takes very little effort to enjoy it. I would rather put the radio on and listen to some amazing music than waste it in front of the idiot box (TV).

I have volunteered for Radio Central for 5 years and it has been the most rewarding experience, I’ve had the privilege to help our local community and give back in the form of being part of one of our communities most important assets  - Radio Central!


Although Invercargill was where I grew up and went to school, Queenstown, where our 1960s family crib was, became an important part of my life.  

On my OE I was based in Europe (3 years as a tour guide around Europe got me comfortable with a microphone…. At a time when the Berlin wall was coming down and USSR was opening up) and moved to Auckland before returning back to my special part of the world in 2018.  I now live in Roxburgh. And I love it!

This photo is from my earliest memory of Roxburgh… Standing on Frog Rock.

Music has played different roles through out the stages of my life.  I love the way it creates a soundtrack through those different phases.

My two boys between them have played in bands, recorded albums, studied recording arts and have pulled me into some of the newer NZ scene over the past few years.

Now…in my wee house in Roxburgh…. I have a drum kit, guitars and piano and am on a mission to build my own skills…. Not sure that my neighbours are as thrilled as me, but I am loving it!!

I am now hooked on this genuine, local radio station that wants to make a difference.

I was working at the freezing works on the chain, various animals came past me at five every minute, lambs, goats, bobby calves, ewes……yep it was an interesting five seasons. I was also voicing adverts for Hokonui Gold in Gore at the time, the year was 2002. I heard of a radio station in Balclutha looking for an announcer. Sweet!! Took a massive pay cut from slaughtering to talking and playing music. Over the next 20 years I would do breakfast radio throughout Southland, then South Canterbury, then Wanaka and now I find myself lucky enough to play music between 9-12 right here in Central Otago.

I have played in bands, theatre restaurants were a passion for many years and I have performed in many stage shows from Jesus Christ Superstar to Oliver and everything in between. Oh yeah, I am completely infatuated by golf. Golf is life :)

I have been married to Melanie for 15 yrs and we have three girls, Fenella, Lyla and Ivy, they all go to Mount Aspiring College. There’s two German Shepherds in our life also, Steinlager and Dresden, they protect us from the world.  We have a pretty busy house running our own business also, Melanie Craig Design. NZ award winning kitchen and interior architects. Mel is the talented one in the family.

So, I like Metallica, I love AC/DC the Bon Scott years and i'm always tempted by some Rolling Stones or Neil Young. Hell, I just love great tunes!!!

Currently I’m 45 yrs old. I'm on a 10.3 handicap index and my short game is letting me down.

Join me between 9-12 and lets listen to some bangers.

Sam -

I was born in the Deep South of Invercargill but was raised in Central Otago. Coming from a musical family it didn't take long until I discovered the wonders of music. My grandmother was a huge Elvis Presley fan and that’s where my love for Rock 'n' Roll took off. Mum had won a couple of Golden Guitar competitions in Gore as a girl and sung with Billy T James as well, so our family home was never quiet - if a radio wasn’t on, mum or nan would be singing!

Growing up I had Back to the Future on VHS tape and would crank Johnny B Goode any chance I was alone, or raid nan’s tape collection to listen to Elvis’ greatest hits on repeat for hours on end.

Meeting Shane while working next door to the old studio was one of the best opportunities that has ever come my way. He asked me if I’d like to give it a go and see how I like it… immediately I fell in love with it and look forward to it every day! I am very grateful to be giving back to such a wonderful and supportive community such as the one built with Radio Central.

So, keep it tuned here, to your LOCAL and your FAVOURITE…

Ryan -

Ryan was born and raised in Invercargill. The most beautiful city on earth.

He had a typical childhood full of laughs and family time. One such activity he loved was visiting Central Otago and staying at his grandparents' crib on the weekends and school holidays.

Having the opportunity to be amongst the spectacular scenery and the great summer climate cemented his love for the region. He has been coming back religiously ever since.

Ryan’s voice has been on the Southland airwaves since 2013. This was the year he got his first broadcasting gig. It was at the local school holidays kids festival. His job was to play music, and keep patrons informed about what was going on throughout the day.

Being a fresh-faced teenager, He was nervous but enjoyed every minute of it, learning the ropes and making some great mates in the process. From there, He started doing work for Invercargill’s local station 96.4FM Radio Southland and continues to host a show every week.

During one of Ryan's 'religious' trips to Central Otago in late 2018, he discovered Radio Central and liked what he heard. That same day, he walked into the studio and asked if they had any jobs going. He must have gone in on the right day, because a couple of airchecks and good yarns later, weekend nIght's with Ryan was born.