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Guidelines to Using Radios on Public Channels
1 September 2016


  • Listen before transmitting. Always make sure the channel is clear before using, so as to avoid interference to others.
  • Use accepted operating procedures. Speak clearly. Be brief.
  • Use your full Callsign including prefix, also use your Callsign from time to time when using a channel for long transmissions.
  • Use channel 15 for calling and emergency only. On contact when calling another station, change to a general channel. In the case of emergencies go to another channel as soon as practical.
  • Use channels 1 to 25 for AM and Channels 26 to 40 for SSB.


  • Make long transmissions, or attempt to communicate with operators outside of New Zealand.
  • Operate Citizen radio apparatus in a manner which endangers or interferes with, or causes interference to other radio communications.
  • Operate Citizen radio apparatus in a manner that interferes with, or endangers communications being conducted by Sports organisations, Boating clubs, Civil Defence and communications for public safety and Community events.
  • Use offensive language, impersonate or use Callsign of another.
  • Transmit false or misleading information.
  • Use any Citizen or other radio apparatus that does not comply with: CB technical Specification RFS23 on CB, or PRS technical Specification RFS39 on PRS
  • Erect, construct, establish, maintain, use, or be in possession of radio apparatus other than in accordance with the terms and condition of the General Licence.

All transmissions must be clearly identified, therefore an unique Callsign is necessary. The local area Office will, on request, issue an unique Callsign. Your Callsign will consist of a location Prefix followed by a number. The Prefix is derived from the local Communication Division office serving a particular area eg. AK 1234.

The essence of a satisfactory radio communication service is good operating practice If the following simple rules are observed

The efficiency of the service you use is assured if you: 

  • Speak naturally and clearly.
  • Be brief and to the point.
  • Be courteous. Offensive language is unacceptable social behaviour.
  • Don’t "hog" the channel. If your message is long, pause, and check now and again to see if someone else wants to communicate urgently.
  • Identify yourself by using your allotted Callsign correctly each time you come on air. e.g. "AK100 THIS IS AK1010". During very long messages the Callsign should be announced occasionally as well.


When using CB: Channel 15 should be used for calling an emergency.
When using PRS: Channel 11, or if there is a repeater available, use the repeater channel for calling an emergency.
A station in distress may use any channel or means at its disposal to attract attention. During an emergency, normal transmissions on the channel used for the distress communications, should cease. This is to avoid causing interference to those stations involved in the distress transmissions, especially those of the station in distress.

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