8 New Zealand Podcasts You Need to Hear

Caitlin Barnett Assistant Director


April 3, 2019

We all love a good podcast (or maybe that's just me). Podcasts are a great way to learn about the world, get insights into the lives of others, and to laugh until your stomach hurts. It seemed like a no-brainer when I got the idea to make a list of fantastic NZ podcasts to give a listen before you land in Aotearoa (the Māori word for New Zealand, meaning 'Land of the Long White Cloud'). Most (read: all) of these podcasts are from Radio New Zealand (RNZ), which is comparable to NPR in the US. They cover all sorts of topics, and you can find even more podcasts than the ones mentioned here on the RNZ website.

  • Song Crush | So music is your scene, and you're not sure where to start with music in New Zealand. You've got to know what gigs to hit up while you're here! Let me present to you: Song Crush. This is a hand-picked selection of what's good from New Zealand and abroad. It will definitely give you a great starting point for gigging in NZ. Listen to Song Crush here.
  • Kākāpō Files | Voted one of New Zealand's favorite birds, the kākāpō is a rare flightless parrot that is severely endangered. This podcast will give you updates on the efforts being made to breed kākāpō and increase the population. If you're a bird-lover, this podcast is right up your alley! Listen to Kākāpō Files here.
  • Black Sheep | New Zealand is often known for having more sheep than people on our gorgeous, green islands. While this podcast isn't necessarily about sheep, it's about shady, controversial, and villainous characters throughout New Zealand's history. If you're on the true crime podcast bandwagon, then hop right on to this podcast - I'm sure you'll love it! Listen to Black Sheep here.
  • Spectrum | You may not know much about New Zealand's recent history. Don't you worry, there's a podcast for that! Spectrum takes you through the essence of New Zealand from 1972 to 2016. This is a great way to learn a lot about NZ before you get here! Listen to Spectrum here.
  • Kiwaha - Give it a go! | In Māori Kiwaha means 'give it a go'. So why don't you give learning some simple sayings and phrases in te reo Māori a go! These phrases can be used in day-to-day conversation and give you a great basis for te reo Māori. They've even included YouTube videos so you can see the presenters (something that often makes language acquisition a lot easier). Listen to Kiwaha - Give it a go! here.
  • Great Ideas | This podcast is made in collaboration with New Zealand universities, so it's a clear winner to add to this list. This series explores great ideas from all over the world - tackling topics ranging from democracy to evolution. Listen to Great Ideas here.
  • My NZ | This is a series of interviews conducted with New Zealanders from all over the country. It gives listeners an idea of what makes New Zealand so special to each individual and how they see the country in 2017. Listen to My NZ here.
  • Essential New Zealand Albums | The title is pretty self-explanatory, and really brings this post full circle. If you're an audiophile and really want to explore the NZ music scene then this podcast is a must-listen. Explore all of the most essential New Zealand albums and really get a feel for the history and influences of today's music scene. Listen to Essential NZ Albums here.

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