The role of SANZ Live, a migrant radio programme, in making sense of place for South African migrants in New Zealand

by Antoinette Wessels

Institution: Unitec New Zealand
Year: 2016
Keywords: SANZ Live (Radio program); migrant radio; community radio; migrants; migrant identity; migrant media; South Africans in New Zealand; Braai Day (National Heritage Day, South Africa); 200208 Migrant Cultural Studies; 2001 Communication and Media Studies
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2128285
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3510


This case study presents the findings of qualitative research into the role that a South African migrant radio program, SANZ Live, plays in supporting its audience to make a sense of place in Auckland, New Zealand, through a range of on- and off-air activities. Upon arrival in Auckland, South African migrants experience distress and a loss of collective and individual identity. Although these experiences are not unique to South African migrants, this research explores the role of migrant media in the process of finding a sense of place for migrants in a new location. To describe the role of a migrant radio program in depth, volunteer participants from the SANZ Live audience were invited to focus group meetings. Participants were requested to describe their initial experiences in Auckland and their involvement with SANZ Live’s on- and off-air activities. In addition they completed a quantitative questionnaire about their media use to determine the prominence of SANZ Live in their media ecology. This data was triangulated with data obtained during semi-structured interviews with the directors and presenters of SANZ Live and from a content analysis of seven SANZ Live broadcasts. The findings indicate that SANZ live contributes to the creation of opportunities for South African migrants to find a sense of place through producing media content, participating in face-to-face communication through the off-air activities of SANZ Live, participating in SANZ Live social media and perpetuating aspects of South African culture through the on- and off-air activities of SANZ Live. This participation contributes to a new routine and a hybrid culture that enables migrants to establish a new individual, group and collective identity in Auckland, with some participants referring to themselves as South African Kiwis. The conclusion made is that migrant radio persists as a useful and supportive medium for migrants and that community media outlets, such as PlanetFM 104.6 from where SANZ Live broadcasts, are serving its stakeholders effectively. Focusing more on the South African migrants in Auckland, the conclusion is made that SANZ Live offers its participants an opportunity to bridge the ethnic divide imposed by the previous political dispensation in South Africa and participants find fulfilment in sharing a media space with a variety of ethnicities from South Africa. It is thus possible that South African nation building is continuing in migrant communities outside of South Africa. Advisors/Committee Members: Kolesova, Elena, Papoutsaki, Evangelia, Unitec Institute of Technology.