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Defining Events

JDA is New Zealand owned & operated, and has been delivering innovative network solutions since 1978.

Below are a cross-section of notable projects, client highlights and milestones that JDA has been involved in over the years at the forefront of pioneering technologies in New Zealand.


Group Formed

Roots – Private Radio Broadcast networks


Johnston, Dick & Associates Ltd Registered


JDA Design & Build Nationwide TV3 Network


JDA Engineers SkyCity Telco and Broadcasting Facilities


Sky Communications Limited Formed

JDA Plans TV4 Network


First Vodafone RAN/DMR Build


New Zealand 3G Mobile Rollouts


JDA Builds Regional Digital Television Network


JDA Acquires Mediaworks Transmission Sites


New Managing Director and Board


RAN and DMR Build/Upgrades

COBALT Acquisition

Air to Ground (A2G) Trial Network


Broadtech acquires business interest of Tellen and forms Broadtech Health

Sound TQ Acquisition


The Broadtech Group acquired by Tū Ātea Network Services Limited


Johnston Dick & Associates Ltd (“JDA”) has accumulated a wealth of expertise and experience from its long distinguished involvement in the evolution of private radio, television and telecommunications networks in New Zealand.

Broadcasting & Communications

JDA history will always be proudly associated with the evolution of broadcasting and communications networks in New Zealand. 

New Zealand’s rugged terrain and widespread population presents special challenges for radio and television coverage. JDA has always worked within the local environment, developing its detailed knowledge of the terrain, and a deep practical understanding of the special requirements to deliver national coverage. Overseas consultants frequently have difficulties coming to grips with the vagaries of the local topographical conditions.

Private Radio Broadcasting

Radio broadcasting was the area where JDA originated. JDA played a leading role in the original private AM radio broadcasting design and development. That work evolved out from the late 60s when private radio was born in New Zealand, through the determined commitment and tenacity of early radio pioneers such as the Radio Hauraki founders, through to the continued success of private radio stations throughout New Zealand today.

Some Key Stations

The following private radio stations in New Zealand (and in the Islands) were realised with the technical expertise of JDA.

  • Radio i – Auckland
  • Radio Hauraki – Auckland
  • Radio Pacific – Auckland
  • Radio Pacific – Waikato
  • 89FM – Auckland
  • Radio 2XS – Palmerston North
  • KCC FM – Northland
  • Key West Radio – Auckland
  • Campus Radio (bFM) – Auckland
  • Central FM – Rotorua & Taupo
  • FM96 – Fiji
  • MAGIC FM – Samoa

In most cases JDA has been involved end to end; designing and constructing the broadcast masts and antennas, transmission equipment and microwave links, to establishing and outfitting the station studios, to enabling the modern evolution to online audio streaming. There has been station amalgamation over the years in New Zealand, and JDA continue to manage technical equipment and services for both independent and larger corporate entities.

Evolution of Private Television

JDA played a core role in the creation of New Zealand’s first private television network, TV3.  JDA provided the transmission testimony for the tribunal hearings, which enabled TV3 to win the first warrant for private television in New Zealand.

JDA were also major contributors to the innovative development of the VHF channel plan configured to enable the three networks: TV One, TV2 and TV3.

JDA then calculated it was possible to fit a fourth television network into the VHF channel plan, and after providing appropriate resolution of the interference analysis, JDA satisfied the Ministry that the new plan was feasible and TV4 (now “BRAVO”) was created with minimal acquisition of any new spectrum.

JDA use custom software that predicts coverage from arbitrary transmission sites using a digital terrain database and sophisticated diffraction algorithms. The software was used extensively for TV3 and TV4 network design, identifying site locations to achieve best coverage possible, with a minimum number of sites. 

Sky Tower - Auckland city

In June 1991, JDA was selected to help design, manage and market the Auckland Sky Tower’s broadcasting and telecommunications technical facilities.

JDA’s Involvement with Design & Construction

  • Earthing systems (lightning, technical, and mains)
  • Power supply & ventilation requirements
  • Lift capacities
  • Rigging strategies
  • Mast and Antenna
  • Equipment Facilities

Marketing Responsibilities

  • Identification of new user prospects
  • Management of tenancy contracts
  • Promotion of the facilities directly to operators
  • Liaison with users at management level
  • Costing of services & negotiation of user contracts

JDA continue to manage all technical broadcasting facilities on Sky Tower

  • Security and Access
  • Provision and management of technical support services
  • Radio and Cabinet Equipment Layout

Acquisition of Mediaworks network of Sites

JDA have designed and built many transmission tower sites over its almost 45 years of service. JDA’s site portfolio was significantly boosted by the acquisition of Mediaworks tower sites in 2013.

JDA continues to manage and operate its sites, as well as third-party owned sites, and we progressively acquire sites we deem strategically important when existing tower owners indicate sites they propose to retire or put up for sale.

Migration to Digital Television

JDA was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the new Digital era of television broadcasting, winning the Government tenders to design and build television transmission sites and to operate the Digital (Freeview) Terrestrial Platform, in the following regions:

  • Whangarei
  • Rotorua
  • Taupo
  • Gisborne (two sites)
  • Whanganui
  • Wairarapa
  • Nelson (two sites)
  • Timaru
  • Invercargill

JDA now own and operate the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network that distributes TV coverage throughout these regions of New Zealand. The head-end platform is available for “any” TV network or regional broadcasters who wish to connect and transmit their content.

JDA were also involved in special projects for TVNZ and the expansion of the Maori TV and Prime TV networks. 

Pacific Islands Developments

JDA has been involved in a number of broadcasting projects in the Pacific Islands; sourcing, supplying and delivering FM Radio and Television broadcasting equipment.

JDA continues to consult to broadcasting and telecommunications entities in the Pacific about network infrastructure and broadcasting transmission equipment.

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