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The Citizen Radio Service was established to meet the need for a short range means of communication for personal or business use which could not be economically or practicably met by other communication services, and has existed in New Zealand since 1953, being one of the first of this type in the world.

Originally only 1 channel (26.500 MHZ) was available with a power limit of 0.5 watts. In 1963 the number channels were increased to 7, all in the 26 MHZ frequency band. 1966 the number of channels was further increased to 11 channels for general use and 3 for Government, including approved businesses and persons. Power increased to 2 Watts.

Proposals to extend the Citizen Band service were released to the public in June 1987 and from the resulting submissions, changes were made. Details of the new 40 channel service was announced by Dr Cullen at the June 1988 annual conference of the Citizen Band Radio Association of New Zealand, coming into effect 1 July 1988. October 1988, any type of aerials were allowed, including beams.

1993 the Radio Frequency Service requested CBRANZ to forward a submission for a PRS Citizen Radio Service (UHF CB). CBRANZ forwarded a submission based on its 1978 submission sent to Post Office Communications for a UHF CB Citizen Service in addition to the then AM CB. 1 July 1994, Personal Radio Service in the 476 - 477 MHZ UHF frequencies extended the Citizen Radio Service. Introduction of PRS was to improve options to the general public to provide an economical radio service for small users in remote areas not already covered by other systems. Possible use includes sporting and community events, small businesses and hobby activities. Repeaters also allowed on the PRS service but require a separate licence.

So that the services may be freely utilised, regulatory requirements have been kept to the minimum and no operator qualifications deemed necessary Up until 31 March 1993 the radio set was licensed. Each licensed set was issued with a licence consisting of the district prefix followed by a number ie. AK 1234 The original licence fee was $3.00, rising over the years to $45.00. 1 April 1993 saw set licensing replaced by a General Licence, this licences the operator. Licence fees abolished. All sets still had to comply with the Specifications as laid down for the Citizens Band and Personal Radio Service before being used on these services.

CB licensed sets peaked at 46,000 plus, during 1977 - 84, and this figure does not include Government sets. At 1 April 1993, (last recorded figures available) there were 14,600 CB sets licensed. Many operators and clubs now use both CB and PRS

1953:: CB established in New Zealand.... 1 channel AM.... 26.500 MHZ, watt. Aerial wave.

1966:: Channels increased to 7 (set above and below 26.500 MHZ) Aerials wave, omnidirectional only.

1966:: November..First New Zealand CB club.... Canterbury Citizens Band Radio Club Inc. Licence fee $3.00

1967:: April. Second New Zealand CB club formed..... Otago Citizens Band Radio Club Inc.

1972:: Citizen Band operator list commenced by Alan Roswell CH 97 Later changed to "Call List"

1974:: First Call list issue finalised & posted out Licence fee $5.00

1975:: Meeting held Nelson Labour Weekend to try and form a National Body

1976:: Labour Weekend.. Great eyeball at Auckland. Formation of a National Body mooted

1977:: May 14 Inaugural meeting of NZ Citizens Band Radio Association. November Name changed to Citizens Band Radio Association of New Zealand (CBRANZ)

1978:: Channels increased to 14. 11 general for normal CB, 3 reserved for Government and special allocations. Power increased to 2 watts. Channels centred on 26.500. September. Ownership of Citizen Band Call Book presented to CBRANZ by CH 97.

1980:: Licence fee $6.00

1981:: Licence fee $10.00

1984:: Licence fee $18.00

1985:: Licence fee $20.00

1986:: Licence fee $25.00

1987:: Licence fee $27.50

1988:: July 1. 40 Channels AM 4 Watt/SSB 12 watt PEP operation allowed. October: Beams and any other type of aerial allowed. Licence fee $38.00

1989:: Radiocommunication Act & updated 1987 Radio Regulations come into force

1990:: Licence fee $40.50.

1991:: Licence fee $45.00

1993:: April 1. licence fee abolished

1994:: July Personal Radio Service (UHF CB) introduced. No licence fee payable. General Licence expires 31-01-99

1999:: General Licence for both CB & PRS renewed to 31-01-2004.   

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Last updated: 16th January 2008