What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur radio, also known as "ham radio", is a hobby about experimenting and communicating using not only radio, but a range of technologies including satellites, the internet and even beams of light!

In New Zealand hams are licensed by the Radio Radio Spectrum Management (RSM). Once licensed, an amateur can operate two-way radio equipment from home, from vehicles and from anywhere in New Zealand and in many cases when overseas too.

Bands of radio frequencies have been set aside for amateur radio use and they allow hams to communicate across town or around the world. The scope and possibilities are endless from sending TV pictures and operating through amateur radio satellites to just having a quiet chat with friends at a distance.

Who can be a Radio Amateur?

Just about anyone! People from all walks of life get involved with with amateur radio, from almost every country in the world.  Young people find amateur radio a great training ground, older people find "hamming" an absorbing retirement hobby.

But amateur radio is more than a hobby, it is a service. Radio amateurs provide their equipment and their operating skills when the need arises such as for Civil Defence (CD) emergencies and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (AREC) are a sub group of the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART) that organise's emergency communications for the Emergency Services.

How do I become a Radio Amateur?

Getting a licence is not difficult - you just need the determination to do it..

Where do I get more information?

NZART has clubs and instructors in most larger cities and towns throughout New Zealand.

You can find your nearest branch or club here, or contact NZART headquarters here for more information.

You can find more information about the exam itself on our website, along with documents containing practice questions and answers.