Skip to content

New home for student radio station RDU

A new studio means James Meharry and Rachel Morton will no longer produce radio out of the old RDUnit truck. PHOTO: Graeden Meek

After four years operating out of a truck, Christchurch student radio station RDU finally has a new home.

The station was left homeless after the February, 2011 earthquakes wrecked its studio in the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) building.

Its new premises are in the new Boxed Quarter for arts groups in central Christchurch.

RDU director James Meharry said it was a relief to finally be in a stable environment.

The new studio setup was hand-built by Meharry.

“I just had to learn a new way with which the audio connections work, and so I installed all the equipment and built everything in.”

Station manager Rachel Morton said the new studio would improve productivity and morale of her team.

Since the February 2011 earthquakes, Morton and her team of five have worked remotely, meaning they were often never together at the same time.

Until recently, RDU has been broadcasting out of the RDUnit, a studio built by Meharry in to the back of an old truck.

Meharry said that the unit “was great for its purpose” but was used for about two years too long.

“It was really at the end of its legs when we moved in so we really got out of there just in time.”

Like the RDUnit, the new studio is only temporary, as a larger permanent studio is being built behind it.

Morton said there were “incredible plans” for this next studio, which might host a space for bands to practise, broadcast live and have records cut.

RDU was established in 1976 to better connect students flatting far from the University of Canterbury Ilam campus and has since grown into a successful alternative music station.

The student radio station will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum next year.

By Graeden Meek for The Press