Pirate radio film heads to Cannes

01:18, Sep 14 2012
Radio Hauraki
FLASHBACK: A 1968 photograph of Ian Ferguson on the yacht Tiri broadcasting from the then pirate radio station Hauraki.

A film based on the pirate beginnings of an Auckland radio station will travel all the way to the Cannes Film Festival next year.

The movie, 3 Mile Limit, tells the true story of the birth of Radio Hauraki in the 1960s.

The station first hit the airwaves from a boat called the Tiri which broadcast illegally, breaking a Government monopoly at the time, to bring rock'n'roll to New Zealand from international waters in the Hauraki Gulf.

The boat ran aground on rocks live on air in January 1968 on a trip to Great Barrier Island, but was replaced a month later by another vessel and broadcasting resumed.

The film, currently in pre-production before filming begins in November, stars leading Kiwi small screen stars Matt Whelan of Go Girls fame and Underbelly NZ's Dan Musgrove.

According to promoters the story, written by Andrew Gunn and Craig Newland, who is also the producer and director, has been picked as having international interest. Ed Pressman, the New York producer behind films such as Wall Street and American Psycho has lent his support to Newland.


The No.8 Films movie already has international distributors interested and will screen at next year's Cannes Film Festival.

"The film's story is set in Auckland however half of New Zealand were able to listen to Radio Hauraki in the 1960s because of its broadcasting position out at sea," Newland said.

"As a result, the Radio Hauraki story is widely known around the country with baby boomers and older, however this iconic story will now be introduced to a younger generation who are completely oblivious to this watershed time."

Radio Hauraki content director Mike McClung said the "radio revolution" that led to the creation of Radio Hauraki was an "amazing story" he was looking forward to seeing come to life on the big screen.

Auckland Now