Digital switchover dates confirmed

  • Jonathan Coleman

The final dates for New Zealand television going digital were announced today by Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Confirming the timetable for the biggest change to television broadcasting since the introduction of colour gives certainty to viewers who are yet to go digital, says Dr Coleman.

‘’We’re planning for the start of a fully digital TV age where New Zealanders can enjoy better pictures and sound, more choice and benefits such as onscreen television guides,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’Almost eight out of ten New Zealanders are already watching digital television and I’m encouraging those who are not to plan and prepare now.’’

The switchover will occur in four stages:
- Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast at 2:00am on Sunday 30 September 2012
- Rest of the South Island at 2:00am on Sunday 28 April 2013
- Lower North Island, Taranaki and Gisborne at 2:00am on Sunday 29 on September 2013
- Rest of the North Island at 2:00am on Sunday 1 December 2013.

Today’s announcement coincides with the launch of Going Digital’s television and newspaper advertising campaign on June 10 to let people know what is required to go digital.

Households that have Freeview, Sky or TelstraClear, are already set for digital television. Other viewers do not need to buy a new television to go digital, but may need to buy a set-top box and possibly a new aerial or satellite dish depending on what equipment they currently have and where they live.

More information on Going Digital is available from or by phoning 0800 838 800.



Geographic description [1]

Date of switchover

Time of switchover

West Coast

Haast to Karamea, including Murchison, St Arnaud and Maruia.

Sunday 30 September 2012


Hawke’s Bay

Approximately Norsewood* to Tutira, including translators dependent on Mt Erin and Mt Threave.

Sunday 30 September 2012


Rest of South Island

South Island east of and including Arthur’s Pass; south of Haast; north of St Arnaud.

Sunday 28 April 2013


Lower North Island and East Cape

Wellington to Taranaki (Awakino), south of Taumaranui, Ruapehu and to East Cape

Sunday 29 September 2013


Upper North Island

The remainder of the North Island

Sunday 1 December 2013


[1] It is important to note that the areas above describe the expected areas in which digital switchover will occur.  In some areas, viewers may receive their signals from a site other than that identified by radio engineers. 
* Viewers in Norsewood or further south with aerials pointed at Mt Erin will go digital on 30 September 2012.  Those with aerials pointed at Wharite will go digital on 29 September 2013.