Voices of Taranaki 25th July 2023 Access Radio Taranaki (ART) is a community radio station, creating and broadcasting programmes from a wide range of communities.“We provide the equipment, the airwaves, the training and the encouragement for people from the community to get their own voice out there,” Anne Dawson, Station Manager, said.“There is a section in the Broadcasting Act, which says that space needs to be provided for groups and people who aren’t normally heard in mainstream media. By enabling Taranaki’s diverse communities to have their voices heard and their ideas shared, community as a whole is enriched and grows.”“With around 40 local, regular shows at any one time, that’s a lot of voices. Shows can be made in any language, allowing people from different ethnicities to keep alive their connection with home.”“As a community radio station, we do very little advertising. We are funded 70% from NZ On Air and we find the rest through community grants and sponsorships. We do charge a small amount for people to make their own shows, but it is nowhere near what it costs to be on air for an hour.”Toi Foundation provided Access Radio Taranaki with an operational grant of $9k, helping to ensure that Access Radio continues to broadcast.“Rangatahi who might have questions around what they’re going to do when they leave school, or those who are coping with a disability or neurodivergence often find a place making radio. Working with them and seeing them grow in confidence is amazing,” Anne said.“Our golden rule is that we don’t speak ill of anyone, either on air or anywhere inside the station. We’re about lifting people up rather than putting them down. That allows people to feel safe in this space. In between the shows we play really good music, with a strong focus on local artists.”Tune in to Access Radio on 104.4 FM, live-streaming and on-demand.To learn more about Toi Foundation, see here.