*The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters Incorporated*

Regulatory Provisions

The provisions for New Zealand Amateur Radio Callsigns and Certificates of Competency are given in:

  • The International Radio Regulations: (Extracts can be provided on request)
  • Article 19, Identification of stations, 19.67 to 19.69;
  • Appendix 42, Table of allocation of international call sign series.

The New Zealand Radiocommunications Regulations 2001. (The complete NZ Radiocommunications Regulations 2001 and the Radiocommunications Act can be found at: http://www.legislation.govt.nz )

The MED RSM has prepared a Manual for use by Ministry-approved "Approved Radio Examiners" (ARX): Public Information Brochure 46 (PIB46) "APPROVED RADIO EXAMINERS (ARX)
MANUAL, Radio Operator Certificate and Callsign Rules
". It is downloadable from: http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/pdf-library/resource-library/publications/pib-46/

The above documents set fixed boundaries within which New Zealand Amateur Radio Callsigns may be selected and administered by an "Amateur ARX" (A MED-RSM-Approved Radio Examiner for Amateur Certificates of Competency and Amateur Callsigns.)

The purpose of this Policy

This NZART Policy is to provide the detail of how NZART Council requires the above documents to be further interpreted and implemented within the given fixed boundaries.

Council has determined further limits on the selection and allocation of amateur radio callsigns in the best interests of New Zealand's radio amateurs, their expectations and traditions. This policy document sets these further requirements.

Precautionary measures

Council has appointed the NZART Amateur ARX, a Deputy NZART Amateur ARX and a radio amateur with specialist interests in on-air activities to implement the requirements of this policy document.
Callsign matters will generally be processed by the NZART ARX, but before any final callsign-allocation action is committed, if required by this policy or PIB46, may be referred on to the appropriate person to research the prior history, desirability and intention of each callsign selected for recommendations and to investigate or verify the qualification claims of the applicant.

Callsign services

  • The NZART Amateur ARX will receive and process matters within the provisions of the latest issue of PIB46 and the further requirements of this Policy. The latest issue of PIB46 is always that currently available from the MED RSM website.
  • Some tasks requested for ARX service will not able to be processed for reasons such as being outside the operating limits set by this Policy. In such cases the ARX is authorised to decline a task without necessarily giving a reason.
  • Callsigns that are considered by the ARX to be inappropriate, or are likely to create confusion, or offence, or in the opinion of the ARX are not in accord with public good taste, will be avoided at the ARX's discretion and will not proceed.
  • Callsigns are to be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • So far as possible, effort will be made to meet a particular callsign vanity choice by an operator and may include advising the applicant of other callsigns with the same required suffix characters but a different numeral.
  • When selecting a callsign for an operator returning from a long time overseas, or for an operator whose licence/callsign lapsed prior to SMART, a callsign previously held by that operator will be offered if now available.
  • There is generally no reason to restrict callsigns that rightly fall within the prescribed and generally-accepted formats.
  • The ARX and advisors will work towards the removal of existing callsign allocation anomalies as circumstances permit.
  • The ARX will charge fees for administration as provided in the fee structure set by NZART Council and properly account for all financial transactions as required by NZART practices.

An ARX Activity Log and Reports

An Activity Log will be kept by the NZART Amateur ARX and will record all tasks in a complete and appropriate manner to meet the requirements of, and to be available for, audit by officers of the MED RSM or by NZART at any time. Activity statistics are to be reported to Council as required.

The further requirements

1. AREC: The PIB46 in its Appendix 1 confines the callsign sub-series ZK(1-9) for allocation to AREC by the NZART ARX. For best administrative convenience and with NZART Council approval, the NZART
ARX will delegate this task to an AREC officer designated by AREC for the administration of AREC callsigns. A list of the allocated AREC callsigns is to be kept up-to-date and made easily publicly-visible by adequate signposting on the NZART/AREC website. AREC callsigns are to be embodied into SMART and maintained by the designated AREC officer in accord with RSM regulatory requirements and for easy public reference. Re-allocated callsigns: The PIB46 requires any primary or secondary callsign of a deceased radio amateur to not be re-allocated to an operator outside the deceased's family within one year of the date of the callsign release. The scrutiny resources and procedures available to the NZART ARX and Deputy are expected to give such reasonable protection.

3. "Special" Callsigns: These are callsigns in the categories of Paragraphs B) to H) below.

There is opportunity for radio amateurs to express novel and fun things with Temporary callsigns and callsigns with longer suffixes for "Special" events. Part B of PIB46 limits their issue to 12 months maximum.
Special callsigns also include shortened callsigns for slow-speed data communication purposes.

Every application for a "Special" callsign must be accompanied by a completed form NZART 5Z describing the purpose of the application. The NZART ARX and the appointed specialist consult as a panel to process each application as presented.

The re-issuing of the same Special callsign to the same operator or group is permitted at the discretion of the NZART ARX if approved by consultation. A letter based on the application form is to accompany the callsign approval notification to make clear the purpose, restrictions and tenure of the approval and callsign.

A) The NZART ARX to issue all ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 and ZL4 two and three letter suffix callsigns as the ARX sees fit, subject to the scrutiny required by Paragraph 2 (above); and after the appropriate approval from consideration of overseas qualifications where necessary. PIB46 refers.

B) The NZART ARX to issue all ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 and ZL4 four or more letter suffix callsigns in consultation with the panel.

C) ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 and ZL4 single letter suffix callsigns to be issued to any NZART Branch or bona fide Group with panel consultation. The panel will define long term use with an early renewal under PIB46 or short term event use terminating on a specific date.

D) ZL5 callsigns to be issued to any NZART Branch, bona fide Group or individual with panel consultation. Letter of authorization to land and stay in the Antarctic is required.

E) ZL6 callsigns to be issued to any NZART Branch or bona fide group with panel consultation. The panel will define long term use with a yearly renewal under PIB46, or short term use terminating on a specific date.

F) ZL7 callsigns to be issued to any NZART Branch, bona fide Group or individual with panel consultation.

G) ZL8 and ZL9 callsigns to be issued to any NZART Branch or bona fide Group with panel consultation. DOC Permit to land required and specific dates of operation required.

H) ZL#E Series callsigns are embargoed until 2012 and are not to be issued at the present time.


In the event of callsign matters arising that are outside this Policy Statement or which cannot be resolved, or in cases in dispute, the matter is to be promptly reported to the NZART President and Council.
Callsign matters take time to properly scrutinise, consider and to resolve. Time-pressure will not be accepted as a reason for requesting accelerated decision-making. Customers of the NZART ARX callsign service are advised and expected to make requests in good time for thorough and proper processing to take place.

Only applications made in clear, non-confusing and legible writing will be accepted for processing.

NZART Council
October 2009