Radio Tarana’s Khan honoured for services to radio, Indian community


Radio Tarana’s honours video message from Robert Khan.

Pacific Media Watch

The founder and chief executive of New Zealand’s leading Indian radio network, Tarana, has today been named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st Birthday Honours List.

Fiji-born Robert Khan has been acknowledged for his service to broadcasting and the Indian community after more than two decades at the helm of Radio Tarana.

From humble beginnings as New Zealand’s first commercial Indian radio network, Khan has led Tarana to become one of the largest independent brands in New Zealand radio.

Among its successes, Tarana was the first ethnic radio broadcaster to sign a joint venture with MediaWorks radio, and in 2014 became the first ethnic radio network to partner with NZME, on their iHeartRadio platform.

Khan’s success with the Tarana model has paved the way for ethnic radio in New Zealand and has been used to champion the cause of ethnic media.

Outside of his day job, Khan serves on a number of advisory and governance boards including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Small Business Advisory Group, and as an elected member of the New Zealand Radio Broadcasters Association. He also acts as an adviser for numerous businesses and broadcast organisations in Fiji, India and across Asia.

In a letter to Khan from Prime Minister Bill English, he was congratulated for his service to his community and country.

‘Outstanding contribution’
“We are very fortunate that so many of our citizens are able and willing to strive to selflessly serve our community and their country. New Zealand’s success is built on such efforts. You have made an outstanding contribution to that success,” the Prime Minister wrote.

Khan said he was humbled by the Order of Merit acknowledgement, but added the award represented the hard work of his whole Tarana team.

“I’m humbled to receive this award. I’m very honoured, but this award is not about me. It reflects all the work done by people during this Tarana journey,” he said.

“I’m motivated by the people I work with and the people I work for. They motivate me to get up and come to work every morning, and are my inspiration for making radio a success, and Tarana a brand to be reckoned with.

“Radio Tarana is the pulse of the Indian community. It acts as the connection for the Indian diaspora here to their culture, entertainment, music and information,” Khan said.

“It is more than just a radio brand; it engages with the New Zealand Indian community and not only provides a service, but has a role in growing and showcasing Indian culture in New Zealand.”

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