New Zealand has a "free association" agreement with the Cook Islands, and 
the Maori-speaking islanders use Kiwi dollars, have the right of abode in New 
Zealand, and show the deepest reverence for NZ's famous rugby team-- the All 
Blacks. Most of the food in the grocery stores is Kiwi-sourced (although it 
costs tourists about twice as much as it does in NZ), and even the temporary 
internet service that tourists love to hate (the infamous Zenbu Networks Ltd.) 
is based in Auckland. As you might guess, DXers checking out the MW band in the 
Cook Islands are going to get a very heavy dose of (what else?) New Zealand.

     About an hour after local sunset on Aitutaki island the Kiwi MW stations 
start to pound in, plastering both Pacific island and Hawaiian signals alike. 
Regardless of their power, they seem to get a propagation boost to foul up all 
the exotic Pacific island stations on the band-- even 630-Cook Islands in 
Rarotonga. 990-TAB Trackside (1 kW) often makes it a good horse race with 10 kW 
Fiji Gold, and even 1440-Moana (200w) can give Kiribati serious competition.

     Australian MW stations generally take a back seat to the Kiwis until local 
midnight on Aitutaki, but they usually rule the roost around sunrise in the 
Cooks. A network of "Overnight Australia" pest stations is on exotic-station 
frequencies like 693 and 1566 kHz, while ABC mega-pests (such as 576-2RN and 
594-3WV) are on others. Other talk-format ANZ pests on the remaining exotic 
frequencies (918, etc.) make sure that you will need to put forth some effort 
to earn your loggings of India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Mongolia-- although 
the awesome sunrise propagation will definitely be on your side.

     The NZ and Australian loggings below were all made with a 7.5 inch 
loopstick C.Crane Skywave SSB Ultralight portable, which proved to be very 
competitive when boosted by the South Pacific ocean beach propagation. 
Recordings which maxed out the bar-graph S-meter are identified with a double 
asterisk (**).Thanks to Theo, Chuck, Bruce and all others who contributed to 
identification of these ANZ stations.

531  2PM   Kempsey, Australia, 5 kW   Dominant during most sunrise sessions, 
but pretty wimpy in the evening. Here it was with call-in talk on the SRN 
network (// 639) at 1627 on 4-10

531  4KZ   Innisfail, Australia, 10 kW   Occasionally dominant around sunrise, 
but usually under 2PM. This recording at 1559 on 4-10 has mentions of Innisfail 
at 20 and 23 seconds, a 4KZ promo, and "4KZ National News" at 1:21 in the MP3

**531  More FM   Alexandra, NZ, 2 kW   Despite its rare reputation on the west 
coast the low-powered station had no trouble making itself heard each evening 
in the Cooks. Here it is with typical modern rock music at 0714 on 4-9, with a 
choppy, sandwiched "More FM" Yankee-accented female ID (also typical) at the 6 
second point

531  PI   Auckland, NZ, 5 kW   Usually in a snarl with Kiwi co-channel More FM 
each evening, this Samoan language broadcaster was sometimes dominant in the 
sunrise sessions, such as at 1633 on 4-10 (over 2PM's call-in talk)

540  Rhema   Taranaki/ Christchurch, NZ, 2/ 1 kW)   Usually covered by Samoa's 
2AP in the evening, it had a clear shot during the sunrise sessions before the 
Samoan sign on, such as at 1603 on 4-9 (with Rhema ID at 40 seconds)

**549  TAB Trackside Radio   Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1 kW   For some reason this low 
powered horse racing station ruled the frequency each evening, although there 
were higher powered NZ and Oz co-channels. This recording at 0733 on 4-10 
features an entire horse race at a strong level, along with a musical break

558  Radio Sport   Invercargill, NZ, 5 kW   Barely audible (under a thunderous 
Radio Fiji One) with Yankee-accented Fox Sports News relay at 1624 on 4-10, 
this station always had a very rough time with the Fiji co-channel

**567  RNZ National   Wellington, NZ, 50 kW   With a relatively wimpy west 
coast signal after its old tower was demolished, the station sounded far more 
energetic in the Cooks. Here was parliamentary news at 0717 on 4-10

**576  2RN   Sydney, Australia, 50 kW   A real blaster every morning around 
sunrise, it usually wiped out any chance of hearing something exotic on the 
frequency, such as at 1619 on 4-13

576  Star   Hamilton, NZ, 2.5 kW   If 2RN didn't wipe out the frequency during 
the sunrise sessions then the "Dwarf Star" usually would. Here it was in a 
relatively equal mix with the Oz big gun at 1618 on 4-13

585  7RN   Hobart, Australia, 10 kW   Usually in a mix with a presumed 2WEB in 
the evening, the station was easy to ID with its 576 parallel, such as at 1607 
on 4-9 with female and male speech in an RN network program

585  Radio Ngati Porou   Ruatoria, NZ, 2 kW   A Kiwi Maori station with 
legendary weakness, on the west coast it has only been heard at Rockwork 4 
(where it has now been MIA for 3 years). In the Cooks it was barely audible, 
such as at 1610 on 4-9 (with the 603-Waatea parallel playing "In the Misty 
Moonlight" for the first 3 seconds, followed by the same music way under 7RN 
from the rare station, and finally the 603-Waatea parallel again at the 35 
second point). The parallel check was only successful on one out of four 
attempts, with the wimpy signal usually MIA

585  UnID-Oz   This station received at 0738 on 4-9 was not // 576, and was 
also not // 603, so most likely it was David Sharp's "Outback Radio," 2WEB in 
Bourke. It was usually in a running battle with 7RN each evening in the Cooks

**594  3WV   Horsham, Australia, 50 kW   This was another huge blaster during 
sunrise sessions, wiping out any chance at Southeast Asia. In tandem with the 
Star network, the Oz big gun plastered anything weak, such as at 1629 on 4-13

594  Star   Timaru/ Wanganui, NZ, 5/ 2 kW   The Christian hymn network 
dominated in the evenings, but lost out to the Oz big gun at sunrise. This 
weather report was received at 1622 on 4-13

**603  Radio Waatea   Auckland, NZ, 5 kW   The strongest of the Maori language 
stations in the Cooks, it provided a convenient parallel signal to check for 
the wimpy 585 Maori station. This was its typical (S9) strength at 0737 on 4-9, 
with Maori language conversation


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