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Radio Wānaka farewells stalwart, welcomes new host

Wānaka locals can expect a new start to their mornings as its local radio station farewells longstanding breakfast announcer, Mike Regal, and welcomes new host Jack Van Der Heyden to the airwaves.

Van Der Heyden takes over the breakfast show from Monday July 1, after spending the last two years working at Power FM in Australia.

His addition comes as the station bids farewell to much loved breakfast host Regal, who owned the station before NZME bought it in 2022.

Outstanding contribution

Regal has been an integral to Radio Wānaka. He recently won the Outstanding Contribution to Radio in 2024 New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards, after a 41-year career in the industry. 

Mike McClung, NZME Chief Content Officer – Music Brands, says Regal’s departure marks the end of his time at the station but his legacy will last for years. 

Mike Regal

“Mike is a legendary broadcaster and an all-round great guy. It was really special to be able to give him a fantastic send-off following the New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards and honour his dedication and passion for the radio industry.” 

On Van Der Heyden, he adds: “Jack is a fantastic talent and a proud Southerner. I know he’s really looking forward to getting stuck into the new role. He’ll do a great job and we warmly welcome him to the NZME team.”

Regal says: “I’ve loved being able to connect with this incredible community over the last 12 years. Thank you to all the amazing Radio Wānaka listeners who have tuned in every morning.

Commitment

“It’s been two and a half years since NZME purchased Radio Wānaka. In that time NZME’s commitment to maintaining Radio Wānaka’s local presence has been unwavering. The hiring of new locally based breakfast host, Jack Van Der Heyden, is testament to that ongoing commitment. Radio Wānaka is in good hands.” 

Van Der Heyden says: “I’m fulfilling my childhood dream and I’m thrilled to bring my passion for radio to Radio Wānaka as the new breakfast announcer. As Wānaka bids farewell to radio legend Mike Regal, I’m really excited to carry on the station’s legacy.” 

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