Jamie Mackay to celebrate 30 years of The Country with two live broadcasts

A major milestone in New Zealand’s broadcasting history will be celebrated on April 12, 2024 when NZME‘s flagship rural radio show The Country with Jamie Mackay marks 30 years on air. Mackay will host two live broadcasts for the anniversary.

The program is broadcasting across several NZME radio stations including Newstalk ZB, GOLD SPORT, Hokonui, and digital audio platform iHeartRadio NZ with Mackay, a former sheep farmer turned equity partner in a Southland dairy farm, sharing insights into New Zealand’s agriculture industry alongside a daily dose of news, sports, and politics.

The live broadcasts include one held on April 11 from the Hokonui Studio in Gore, where the journey began three decades ago. Guests will include Grant Nisbett – the founding partner of Radio Hokonui Ltd and a legendary voice in rugby commentary, Warwick Catto – the 1995 Young Farmer of the Year and the man responsible for backing the show from day one and Bill English former local Wallace MP and former Prime Minister.

The celebration continues as Mackay returns to his hometown of Riversdale for the main event on the April 12 anniversary, accompanied by 200 clients, partners, and friends of the show. Attendees will be treated to lunch provided by Beef and Lamb NZ with Emerson’s Tiny Pub also keeping spirits high throughout the event.

Guests for the main event include NZME CEO Michael Boggs and Chief Audio Officer Jason Winstanley, among others.

Boggs said:

“The Country has been a cornerstone of New Zealand’s rural broadcasting network, serving as New Zealand’s flagship agricultural radio show and playing a really important role in connecting with rural communities across New Zealand. Jamie has been the driving force behind it for three decades, sharing valuable insights into agriculture and creating a tight-knit community amongst our listeners.”

Reflecting on his journey, Mackay added:

“Bringing a rural radio show nationwide on a commercial network has been a privilege, and I’m grateful for the support of our listeners, clients, and partners throughout the years. I’m proud to have survived 30 years in the industry, navigating its challenges and triumphs. What started as a leap of faith has grown into something truly remarkable.”

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