Kiwi as

Well, it used to be Kiwi as, but now it is German owned. 80 years ago today, the first issue of the NZ Listener was published.

Free to all radio licence holders, the New Zealand Listener soon expanded beyond its original brief to publicise radio programmes. Today it is the country’s only national weekly current affairs and entertainment magazine.

From major investigative stories to crosswords, the Listener has published the serious, the trivial and everything in between. Features such as a 1939 war diary about clothes for the well-dressed soldier, Aunt Daisy’s instructions for cooking a swan, and the recent ‘Power Lists’ of influential New Zealanders have traced changing preoccupations over the years.

From the outset, the arts were a major focus for the Listener, which has published works by leading figures such as James K. Baxter, Janet Frame and Maurice Shadbolt.

The Listener’s paid circulation peaked at 375,885 in 1982. Some feared its demise when it lost its monopoly on programme schedules in the free-market 1980s, but it adapted and survived. In 1990 the Listener was sold to New Zealand Magazines, and it is now published by the Hamburg-based Bauer Media Group. In the 2010s it remains one of New Zealand’s top-selling magazines.

NZ History

Bauer Media have this to say about themselves:

The gold standard for any magazine, in the era of unlimited free online content, is whether readers value the journalism enough to seek it out and pay for it. Listener readers do just that. Driven by the strength of its agenda setting content, the New Zealand Listener is New Zealand’s best-selling current affairs magazine with a per capita circulation higher than Time, the New Yorker and Spectator. In fact, this heritage magazine is a modern success story: circulation is stable, readership is strong and our subscriber base continues to be one of the nation’s highest. The Listener remains one of New Zealand’s most recognised brands, informing and entertaining Kiwis through eight decades and bringing its iconic wit and humour to homes every week. In a world of fake news, the Listener produces a compelling and accurate weekly read that is not afraid to rattle cages but which is a positive, energising force in New Zealand’s cultural, intellectual and political life. During times of profound change, people gravitate to magazines they trust – New Zealanders trust the Listener.