Current TVNZ 1 logo
  • 1 June 1960 (1960-06-01) (as NZBC TV)
  • 1 April 1975 (1975-04-01) (as TV One)
Owned by Television New Zealand, Ltd.
Picture format HDTV (1080i)
Audience share
  • 68.5% Free-to-air
  • 58% Nationally

(2006, ACN)

Country New Zealand
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Formerly called NZBC TV (1960–1975)
TV One (1975–2016)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift service TVNZ 1 +1
DVB 64-QAM on band IV
DVB QPSK 576i on 12483 MHz
DVB 8PSK (encrypted) on 12358 MHz

TVNZ 1 is the first national channel of New Zealand state broadcaster Television New Zealand (TVNZ). It was the first major television broadcaster in New Zealand, starting out from 1960 onwards as independent government operated facilities in the four main centres of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and eventually began sharing programming between them all in real time in 1969, becoming NZBC TV (although the individual facilities retained their call signs into the 1970s). The collective group was renamed Television One in 1975 upon the break-up of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, and became a part of TVNZ in 1980 when Television One and South Pacific Television (now sister channel TVNZ 2) merged. The channel was renamed TVNZ 1 in October 2016.

TVNZ 1 is both a public broadcaster and a commercial broadcaster. Central to TVNZ 1 is news and current affairs, which is produced under the banner 1 News Now. Other programming consists of mainly drama, general entertainment and documentaries, both locally and internationally (especially British) produced. The channel is broadcast on the government owned Kordia terrestrial network as well as on one of the two Kordia satellite transponders, which is included in channel packages on the Freeview, Igloo, and Sky platforms.

It is estimated that 98.6% of New Zealand households with a television have access to TVNZ 1. Over 50% of the channel's programming is local content.


1960 – 1975: NZBC TV

At 7:30pm on 1 June 1960, New Zealand's first television channel, AKTV2, started broadcasting in Auckland from the NZBC building at 74 Shortland Street, previously used to broadcast public radio station 1YA and now home to The University of Auckland's Gus Fisher Gallery. Owned and operated by the New Zealand Broadcasting Service (NZBS, which became the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in 1962), it initially broadcast for two hours a day, two days a week. Christchurch's CHTV3 followed in June 1961, Wellington's WNTV1 a month later, and Dunedin's DNTV2 on 31 July 1962.[1] The numbers referred to the VHF band I channel allocation the main transmission broadcast on – channel 1 (44–51 MHz) in Wellington (Mount Kaukau), channel 2 (54–61 MHz) in Auckland (Waiatarua) and Dunedin (Mount Cargill), and channel 3 (61–68 MHz) in Christchurch (Sugarloaf). TV One continued to broadcast on these frequencies until analogue switch-off in 2013.

Television licences were introduced in August 1960, initially costing NZ£4 (equal to NZ$171 in December 2013).[2][3] Television advertisements began in April 1961 and were initially allowed only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. By 1965, 300,000 television licences had been issued, and television was broadcasting seven nights a week.[1]

Initially, the four television facilities were unlinked, and programming had to be shipped between each station. However, for urgent news video, it was possible to link the two stations in each island using Post Office Telephone Department (now Chorus) coaxial toll lines at the expense of a number of voice channels. This method was too costly for the regular programming.

The most notable example of the unlinked facilities was when the inter-island ferry TEV Wahine sank in Wellington Harbour on 10 April 1968 – newscasts of the disaster had to be transmitted over Post Office lines by WNTV1 to AKTV2 in Auckland. However, due to the storm disrupting both shipping and flights for a further 24 hours, the first video of the sinking crossed Cook Strait via regular transmissions from WNTV1 and was received on a privately owned television set in Blenheim, at the top of the South Island some 80 km line-of-sight distance from Wellington. A Blenheim-based news reporter's film camera was pointed at the television, then the exposed film was rushed by road to Christchurch, developed and transmitted over CHTV3, concurrently sent further south to DNTV2 for transmission there via a coax cable link. Interestingly, this Blenheim film appears to be the only surviving footage of the first day, and it shows part of the television set that the camera was pointed at.

By the time of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969, the two islands were each network-capable via microwave link, but the link over Cook Strait had not been completed, and there was no link between New Zealand and the outside world. Footage of the moon landing was recorded on video tape at the Australian Broadcasting Commission's ABN-2 in Sydney, then rushed by an RNZAF English Electric Canberra to Wellington and WNTV1.[4] To forward this to the South Island, the NZBC positioned one of its first outside broadcasting vans to beam the footage to a receiving dish across Cook Strait, from which it was forwarded through the recently commissioned South Island network. The link was completed later that year, the first NZBC Network News transmitted on 3 November, read by Dougal Stevenson.[1]

The NZBC's microwave network between facilities was very much ad-hoc. Due to a shortage of microwave links, the network was completed by "off air" hops, where a 100 kW regional transmitter was received and re-transmitted by another. The network news was made possible by switching inputs to the regional transmitters, so that a signal could be relayed across the country. For instance, the Te Aroha regional transmitter for Hamilton could be switched away from Auckland programming to relay off-air, the Wellington signal coming up the country. Auckland then could see Wellington via Te Aroha. The non-synchronous switching was done manually initially and later with tone switching. During the network news presented from Wellington, if an inject was required from Auckland, Auckland would switch from transmitting Wellington pictures to transmitting, briefly a black screen with a small white "A" in the corner. Then each transmitter down the country would have to switch over so that the "A" would eventually appear in Wellington and beyond. Once all centres could see the "A" caption, the Auckland inject would be played. At the end of the item, the process would be reversed with a "W" for Wellington being switched sequentially, and then finally the Wellington presenter would appear again in all centres. The viewer would see a black non-synchronous switch which would take a second or so. Eagle-eyed viewers could see the identification letters change on the corner of the screen. Those with poor vertical hold would have to wait a little longer for the picture to stabilise. Occasionally, a transmitter would be switched out of sequence and the viewers would be treated to the sight of 100 kW of video feedback.

With the establishment of the Warkworth satellite station in 1971, New Zealand could finally communicate with the rest of the world. The first live broadcast received by satellite was the 1971 Melbourne Cup on 2 November.[5]

For the first 13 years, NZBC TV broadcast solely in black and white. Colour television, using the Phase alternating line (PAL) system, was introduced on 31 October 1973,[5] in preparation for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch the following February. Due to the lack of colour facilities, only four of the ten sports (swimming, diving, athletics and boxing) could be broadcast in colour.[6]

1975 – 1980: TV One

The Avalon Television Centre, home to TV One from 1975. Operations gradually moved to Auckland during the 1980s.

On 1 April 1975, the NZBC was split into 3 separate state owned corporations: Television One, Television Two and Radio New Zealand.

The existing NZBC television service became TV One, and was based in Avalon Television Centre in Lower Hutt which opened that day. TV One used the WNTV1 and DNTV2 studios and the existing channel frequencies, while AKTV2's Shortland Street studios and CHTV3 studios and new channel frequencies were used for the new TV2, which commenced later that year.

1980 – present: TVNZ

In 1980 the two television channels merged to form Television New Zealand, with the purpose of finally providing a dividend to the Government. The merger was promised to provide 'complementary programming' for both channels. Regional news programming was reintroduced in the 1980s screening as part of the evening news bulletin. The regional bulletin was broadcast from the four main TVNZ studios in Auckland (Top Half), Wellington (Today Tonight), Christchurch (The Mainland Touch) and Dunedin (The South Tonight). Each region would break out from the network news to screen a 20-minute news bulletin before returning to the network news bulletin to screen the weather. In 1989 regional news shows were moved to screen before the network news and at the end of 1990 were axed altogether.

In August 2008, TV One, along with TV2, moved to 720p high-definition for the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both channels were originally only available in high-definition on the Freeview HD platform, before commencing high-definition broadcasts on the Sky platform on 1 June 2009 now moved to 1080i in August 2010.


TV One has used numerous logos throughout its history, though all have displayed 'one' as a word, rather than as a number. The original 1975 logo featured large rounded lettering, sometimes with the top half of the 'o' in the lowercase 'one' divided into rainbow colours. This was replaced after the formation of Television New Zealand in 1980, with uppercase inline lettering.

The Friz Quadrata typeface and a more classical look debuted in 1987, contrasting Channel 2's more contemporary appearance. The more familiar sans serif italic lettering, with mixed case lettering, was launched during the 1996 Olympics, variations of this logo were used up to 2013 with the colours changing every few years or the logo behind a coloured background. In 2013 the logo was changed, continuing to use the sans serif lettering but no longer in italics.

In October 2016 TV One will be rebranded as TVNZ 1 with the logo changed to simply the number 1 in bold black with a red scribble pattern around the number, while sister channel TV2 will be renamed TVNZ 2, with a purple scribble pattern around the number.[7]


For a more extensive list of New Zealand made programmes screened on all TVNZ television channels, see List of TVNZ television programming.


In-house produced

Main article: 1 News (New Zealand)

News and current affairs programming takes up a large amount of the weekly schedule. The main hour-long daily bulletin is 1 News at Six with weekday news shows Breakfast (morning news and current affairs), 1 News at Midday, Tonight and Te Karere.

Current affairs

The half-hour weekday main show is Seven Sharp with weekend Sunday in the evenings showcasing stories from New Zealand. The Sunday show takes its name and foreign stories from an arrangement with Seven News. Sunday mornings also have Q+A, Marae Investigates, Waka Huia and Tagata Pasifika. There is also the viewer focused weekly Fair Go.


TV One, through the name One Sport (formerly One World of Sport), currently holds rights to screen major world sporting events live. Many sporting events involving New Zealand and other countries were previously broadcast through One Sport, such as the Olympic Games, All Blacks rugby tests, and New Zealand home cricket test matches and one day internationals, until the rights for these were bought by SKY Network Television. As well as Moto GP, Rally Car NZ, One News Sport and Triathlon.

NZ On Air funded


Prime time


NZ on Air funded



TVNZ 1 +1
Launched 1 July 2012
Broadcast area National
Formerly called TV One Plus 1 (2012-2016)
A former logo, used until October 2016.

TVNZ 1 +1 was launched to Freeview and Sky customers from 1 July 2012 as TV One Plus 1. It is a channel with a one-hour time shift of the TV One Auckland feed. The channel is available on Channel 7 on Freeview and 501 on Sky. This channel replaced TVNZ 7 which was a public service news and documentary channel. On 1 September 2013 when TVNZ 2 +1 (then called TV2+1) launched to replace TVNZ U, TV One Plus 1 moved to Channel 6 on Freeview, while TV2+1 took over Channel 7. It was renamed TVNZ 2 +1 in October 2016.


  1. 1 2 3 "The Early Years | INSIDE TVNZ |". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  2. "Where we've come from" (PDF). Television New Zealand. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  3. "New Zealand CPI Inflation Calculator – Reserve Bank of New Zealand". Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  4. "Television viewers in New Zealand were unable to see the Apollo 11 Moonwalk live." Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station
  5. 1 2 50 years of NZTV newspaper insert, Television New Zealand, 31 August 2010
  6. Technology Changes Television, TVNZ
  7. So long TV One, TVNZ announces new channel names, New Zealand Herald, September 29, 2016
  8. Dale, David (15 December 2015). "The Chase Australia's Issa Schultz reveals key to the show's success". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  9. Butterworth, Monique (11 December 2015). "UK quiz show The Chase heads down under". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
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