New Zealand's Rhema

New Zealand's Rhema
New Zealand's Rhema
Radio rhema logo.png
Broadcast area New Zealand
Branding New Zealand's Rhema
Frequency Various
First air date 1978
Format Christian music
Class Terrestrial/Internet
Owner Rhema Broadcasting Group
Webcast Listen Live

New Zealand's Rhema is an evangelical Christian talk and music radio network owned and operated by Rhema Broadcasting Group since 1978. The network currently features programmes from Aaron Ironside, Laurel McCulloch, Rob Holding and Rosemary Jane and pre-recorded daily preaching from Joyce Meyer, James Dobson, Jeff Lucas, Tak Bhana, Berni Dymet, Chuck Swindoll and Chuck Missler.

Rhema, which takes its name from the Biblical word rhema, is the founding network of United Christian Broadcasters. It is the model for other UCB networks such as UCB Talk in the United Kingdom. The initial programme/station manager, John McNeil, laid the groundwork for what became the network's relaxed talk and music format, in which a limited number of teaching programmes are intermingled with music, news and interviews, to differentiate the station from American Christian broadcasters, which were perceived to be "Bible-bashing" and culturally irrelevant. Instead of constantly asking on air for donations, the network subsequently started the annual donation drive Rhemathon, in which hosts, celebrities and special guests campaign for one-off donations and subscriptions to the financial supporter club.[1]



A Balanced Breakfast

From 06:00 to 09:00 weekdays, Aaron Ironside hosts A Balanced Breakfast, a talk programme consisting of "a balance" between news interviews and faith features. It includes half hourly unbranded Newstalk ZB NewsFAMILY news and sports bulletins, followed by a weather update.

After the 06:00 news, Aaron has a theological discussion on a weekly theme with West City Christian Centre Senior Pastor Tak Bhana. This twelve minute feature, called Running with Fire, is repeated as a teaching programme on Rhema throughout the day and distributed internationally through United Christian Broadcasters as a twelve minute daily programme or a sixty minute weekly programme.

After the 06:30 news, Aaron reviews the news being reported by the Auckland-based New Zealand Herald, Wellington-based Dominion-Post, Christchurch-based Press and Otago-based Daily Times. On Mondays to Thursdays this is followed by international reports from UCB correspondents Steve Johnson (United States), Ruth Price (Australia), Jeff Fountain (Europe) and James Totton (Asia); on Fridays Aaron uses this timeslot to speak to David Sliver from the Israel-based Out of Zion Christian ministry.

The 07:00 news precedes the first of five feature interviews. This is followed up by a phone-in Bible challenge game and an inspirational thought from Paul Sanders, Sarah Field, Kris Baines, Steve Taylor and Nick Tuitasi. Paul Sanders, Michael Duncan, Brett Jones, Tim Cooper or Frank Ritchie provide daily news commentary after the 7:30 news. The second feature interview of the day airs at approximately 7:50. The 08:00 news is followed by the third and main feature interview and a today in history segment, and the 8:30 news is followed by the fourth and fifth feature interviews.

The breakfast programme began at the launch of Radio Rhema in 1978, and Rhema Broadcasting Group secretary Anita Wilkinson was the programme's first host. Youth worker Bob McCroskrie hosted the programme from 1997 to 2006 before leaving to set up lobby group Family First New Zealand.

Life Out Loud

From 09:00 to 14:00 weekdays Laurel McCulloch hosts Life Out Loud.

The programme is aimed to at-home parents, particularly mothers. It begins with an hour of music at 09:00 and an hour-long feature interview at 10:00. Teaching programmes from Joyce Meyer, James Dobson and Focus on the Family, Jeff Lucas and Tak Bhana air between 11:00 and 13:00. A further hour of music airs between 13:00 and 14:00.

The Home Run

From 14:00 to 19:00 weekdays Rob Holding hosts The Home Run.

The first two hours of this programme, from 14:00 to 16:00, consist of a variety of features; currently these include a Voice of America special report, a weekly radio serial and The Bible Experience readings. The final three hours, from 16:00 to 19:00, feature news interviews and reports from Rhema Broadcasting Group, United Christian Broadcasters and Voice of America.

Night Talk

From 19:00 to 24:00 weekdays Rosemary Jane hosts Night Talk

Between 19:00 and 19:30 Rosemary introduces Focus on the Family children's programme Adventures in Odyssey and announces children's birthdays. Between 19:30 and 23:00 Rosemary introduces Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer, Running with Fire with Tak Bhana, Insight for Living with Chuck Swindoll, Focus on the Family with James Dobson and 66/40 with Chuck Missler and plays easy-listening Christian contemporary music. The final hour, 23:00 to 24:00, consists of uninterrupted music.


From 00:00 to 06:00 weekdays an automated programme of Christian contemporary music


Saturday Morning, from 00:00 to 06:00, is automated.

Saturday Morning, from 06:00 to 08:00, is automated. It includes hourly news updates.

Saturday Talk, from 05:00 to 12:00, is hosted by Laurel McCulloch. It includes a combination of live interviews and repeats of feature interviews from Living out Loud from the past week.

Saturday Afternoon, from 12:00 to 18:00, is hosted by Andrew Urquhart. Andrew is the programme director and a former announcer on sister network Southern Star. It includes an omnibus repeat of The Home Run's weekly serial and Jon Rivers' syndicated CCM countdown show 20 The Countdown Magazine.

Saturday Nights, from 18:00 to 24:00, is hosted by Rob Holding.


Sunday programming on New Zealand's Rhema is commercial-free.

Saturday Morning, from 00:00 to 06:00, is automated. It consists of uninterrupted music.

Sunday Morning, from 06:00 to 12:00, is hosted by Aaron Ironside. This programme is family-orientated and plays worship music than is not played on other programmes. For a long time it has included a breakfast time omnibus repeat of Focus in the Family children's radio serial Adventures in Odyssey, to match children's radio offering from Coast and Radio New Zealand National at this time. It also includes a late morning teaching programme, Let My People Think, with Ravi Zacharias.

Sunday Afternoons, from 12:00 to 18:00, is hosted by Rosemary Jane. It includes a teaching programme called Science, Scripture and Salvation.

Sunday Night Live, from 18:00 to 24:00, is a talkback programme produced by conservative lobby group Focus on the Family and hosted by Tim Sisarich from Rhema Broadcasting Group studios. It is opened and closed by an hour of uninterrupted music. Between 19:00 and 23:00 a weekly topic and weekly key questions are discussed with a guest panel, including local and international academics, and with viewers by talkback. Issues may concern Christianity, families, crime, economics, politics or personal life.



Rhema broadcasts in Whangarei on 621 AM. It also broadcasts from Kaitaia on 549 AM and Kaikohe and Bay of Islands on 99.9 FM.


Auckland 1251 AM


New Zealand's Rhema broadcasts in the Waikato on 855 AM, from Hamilton. It also has a low-powered station in Tokoroa on 99.7 FM.


In the Bay of Plenty Rhema broadcasts on 540 AM.


Rotorua 93.5 FM


Taupo 95.1 FM

Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay 99.1 FM


Taranaki 540 AM. Also broadcasts in Opunake on 93.6 FM.



Masterton 97.5 FM


New Zealand's Rhema currently broadcasts in Wellington on 972 AM.

A temporary trial license was granted for one day in October 1975. Rhema Wellington began broadcasting in 1982, and was launched by local MP Hugh Templeton, who officially opened the station with the words: "Can we listen, and sense what they [Radio Rhema] have done, because we have a very clear demonstration of the power of God, and His work in our community. Radio Rhema has very great responsibilities... and represents in the community a Radio lifeguard."[2]


Nelson 801 AM Also on Murchison on 92.5 FM

West Coast

Westport 94.9 FM. Also from Greymouth on 92.3 FM.


Christchurch 612 AM


Timaru 594 AM. Twizel 91.8 FM


Wanaka 89 FM. Cromwell 89.5 FM. Queenstown 94.4 FM



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External links

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