Goethe on Air

Our interns Jenny and Yona in the recording studio © Goethe-Institut

'Goethe on Air': the cultural radio show of the Goethe-Institut New Zealand

Music, news and more from the Goethe-Institut New Zealand on Access Radio.

'Goethe on Air' is devised and presented by the current interns of the Goethe-Institut. The show is dedicated to the promotion of the German language and culture and to provide interested listeners with information on things German. This includes films, music, theatre, and literature. An essential part of every show is to play the best of German music – old and new.
Every four weeks the show will be on air at Wellington Access Radio (106.1FM) and repeated two weeks later. See below for links to the Podcasts of previous shows:

Session 58

13 June 2020 

After almost three months, Goethe on Air is finally back! In this episode, our current intern Yona interviews one of our lovely language teachers, Yasmin, about teaching German during the lockdown. You can look forward to interesting insights into online teaching and some fantastic German music, selected by our Instagram followers.

Session 57

21 March 2020

Some of you might recognize his voice from the video project “Lifeswap”: In this episode of Goethe On Air we welcome Kiwi writer and poet William Connor (aka “Duncan”) to our show! As well as great German songs, you can look forward to meeting the person behind William’s art and finding out how much “Duncan” lives in William.

Session 56

22 February 2020

This time we welcome a very special guest to our show: the German installation and performance artist Anna Peschke, who will be the Goethe-Institut Artist in Residence in New Zealand for the next two months: What was it that made her want to become an artist? What is it that keeps her going? And most of all: What can she tell us about the upcoming project she is working on with New Zealand poet, William Connor. “The Quiet Living of Lost Things” is an intriguing title. A month before the project will be presented on March 20-22 in Greytown, our colleague Jennifer will find out as much as she can for you!

Session 55

25 January 2020

In this episode of Goethe on Air our new intern Jennifer will introduce her German hometown Wertheim and share her first impressions of New Zealand with you. In addition Jana will talk about her trip around New Zealand’s North Island and will reveal some of her highlights. You will also get to listen to some of Jennifer’s and Jana’s favourite songs.

Session 54

21 December 2019

Christmas is just around the corner and for Manja, Ricarda and Jana it will be the first Christmas they celebrate without their families. In this episode of Goethe on Air you will find out how they celebrate Christmas in Germany and what their plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve in New Zealand are. In addition you can also listen to a great mix of German and English Christmas music. ​


2 November 2019 Sustainability is becoming more important in the everyday life of many people, including Ricarda and Manja. In this episode of Goethe on Air Ricarda and Manja talk about the different approaches to sustainability in Germany and New Zealand and their own experiences.

Session 52

5 October 2019

We have two new interns in the Goethe-Institut New Zealand! In this episode we welcome Manja and Ricarda from Cologne. You will get to know the new hosts of Goethe on Air and they will talk about their home of choice. This episode will focus on Cologne’s music scene with a variety of music.


7 September 2019 What do you associate with the German words "splitterfasernackt", "Pudelmütze" or "Regenbogenschimmer"?
In this episode of Goethe on Air, Insa and Pauli spent time with the beautiful German language. They selected unusual German words which describe the four seasons in a particularly outstanding way. Matching music included.

Session 50

10 August 2019 The 50th Goethe on Air episode is characterised by the special selection of music, which is based on the motto ‘jubilee show’. In addition to songs by "Käpt’n Peng und die Tentakel von Delphi" or "Balbina", the current interns, Insa and Pauli, introduce themselves a little closer. They find out that they are studying in the same city. Reason enough to talk about Potsdam and the beautiful state Brandenburg.

Session 49

13 July 2019 In the 49th ‘Goethe on Air’ episode, you can hear from our new intern in the German Language Department, Paulina. She is supported by Judith Geare, Head of the Language Programme. They will talk about the “Konferenz für Deutschlehrende in Neuseeland”, which took place over the first weekend in July at the Goethe-Institut, and Paulina will explain her first tasks as well as her impressions of the Goethe-Institut in general. You can also listen to a great mix of German music – from a-cappella to Jazz.

Session 48

15 June 2019 French filmmaker Hervé Cohen visits Dilara and Sina in the studio. Learn all about the documentary festival Doc Edge and Hervé's interactive project Life Underground! They also talk about how Hervé came to the film industry and his passion for documentaries.

Session 47

18 May 2019 This episode of Goethe on Air is all about language. Dilara and Sina sum up the most important information about the German language courses at the Goethe-Institut. They also have a special guest: Inga is the current DAF-trainee at the institute and teaches various courses. She talks about her experiences as a teacher and provides an exciting insight into the language department.

Session 46

20 April 2019

In this session you get to know Dilara and Sina, the new interns. They introduce you to their hometowns Münster and Meerbusch and also talk about the so-called Gap Years, which are especially popular for young Germans who just finished high school. Learn more about the many different options like the 'FSJ' or Work&Travel (in New Zealand, of course) in the Podcast!

Session 45

23 March 2019

In this session we have a special guest: Milan Gessner. The Berlin-based illustrator, filmmaker and street artist is the Goethe-Institut Artist in Residence in Wellington this year. He talks to us about his varied work - for example about the intercultural project Dry Waters for which he worked as a mural painter as well as a documentary film maker.
Sabrina and Sophie are now saying goodbye - next time Goethe on Air will be presented by two new voices. Stay tuned!


23 February 2019
  This time Sabrina and Sophie came up with many crazy songs and tell you some interesting facts about the musicians. Unconventional lyrics and rhythms make this session an entertaining listening experience. 

Session 43

26 January 2019

In this show you will be introduced to Sabrina and Sophie. They are the new interns at the Goethe-Institut and talk about their tasks and first impressions. Both of them are visiting New Zealand for the very first time and share German-language songs of various genres. - A colourful programme!

Session 42

29 December 2018

At the end of their internship at the Goethe-Institut in Wellington Catrin und Eva are already in holiday mood! Catrin talks about her trip to Rarotonga and Eva reveals how she imagined herself going to the “Loveparade” when she was a little girl. So the 42nd Show of Goethe on Air is a light-hearted chat about summer time and sunny music. Let’s get tropical!

Session 41

01 December 2018

Want to study in Germany? Eva visited Massey University in Wellington and found some interesting similarities and differences to where she studies in Germany. In the 41st Show of Goethe on Air Catrin and Eva take a closer look at the German higher educational system. Who is allowed to study? What could be interesting alternatives? Where do German students live? And how are they supported financially?

Session 40

03 November 2018

The 40th Goethe on Air Show is all about German children’s television. Catrin and Eva talk about the history of its origins, present a popular programme format as well as the German children’s channel KIKA (Kinderkanal) and reveal their favorite television heroes. Also you will hear about a series that was shot in Wellington and was a great favourite in Germany! Have fun!

Session 39

06 October 2018

Catrin and Eva have got very sporty this time! Catrin tells us about participating in the New Zealand Handball Club Championship where Eva cheered her on from the sidelines. In the 39th show of Goethe on Air they talk about Handball in Germany and New Zealand, the similarities and differences between both countries when it comes to sport in general as well as their own experiences and preferences. Jazzed up with sporty sounds! So let’s go!


08 September 2018 And the winner goes to... Wellington is the culinary capital of New Zealand. The popular 'Wellington on a Plate' food festival awards a range of prizes to Wellington's best restaurants every year. In the 38th 'Goethe on Air' show the interns Catrin, Eva and Saskia take a look at similar events in Germany. They talk about typical German food festivals, that they have personally experienced.

Session 37

11 August 2018 10th anniversary of the German Film Festival in New Zealand. This is a reason to celebrate! In the 37th show of 'Goethe on Air' Catrin and Saskia talk about their favorite films from our previous festivals of the past few years. They also take a look at the programme of the upcoming festival and tell you what they are most looking forward to.

Session 36

16 July 2018 Kölner Dom against Düsseldorfer Fernsehturm, Helau against Alaaf, Alt against Kölsch - since the Middle Ages, there has always been a dispute between the two cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf. As direct neighbours they are only a few kilometers apart. In the 36th show of Goethe on Air Fritzi and Saskia talk about the two cities on the Rhine. We learn more about their history and the famous street carnival, which is called 'fifth season' in the Rhineland. Which city will be your winner?

Session 35

18 June 2018 In the 35th ‘Goethe on Air’ show, Arne and Fritzi talk about the German state of Thüringen, which some people also refer as the “green heart of Germany”. We learn more about regional specialities, the best outdoor-tips for the summer as well as new facts about famous personalities and their works. Did you know the musician Clueso comes from this state and visited New Zealand some years ago? The show is also about the artist pair Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Danielle de Picciotto (Love Parade), who are touring New Zealand at the moment and are especially well known for their participation in Berlin’s cultural scene.

Session 34

21 May 2018 „It was surprising to hear how many people have already travelled to Germany or are somehow linked to Germany, despite the fact that it’s about 18000km away.” In the latest  'Goethe on Air' show, Nora and Fritzi interview a special guest: Arne, one of the teachers at the Goethe-Institut. Arne talks about his experiences as a German language teacher and shares some highlights about his work. While chatting with Arne it becomes clear that learning German is no longer a rarity in New Zealand. In addition to anecdotes about his every-day-life in his language courses, we hear about his own personal connection with the German language and his time in Wellington.


Session 33

23 April 2018 „Sie treffen sich täglich um Viertel nach drei - Am Stammtisch im Eck in der Konditorei“  („They meet as a rule at a quarter past three – at their corner table for afternoon tea“) - in these lyrics the German singer/song writer, Udo Jürgens, describes a sociable Sunday activity: the Kaffeeklatsch. This ritual is not the only topic in the current Goethe on Air show about food – Nora and Fritzi talk about traditional German dishes and their own eating habits as students. In Wellington, the culinary capital of New Zealand, the two sybarites also collect some new recipe ideas and experience unfamiliar NZ dishes.

Session 32

26 March 2018 Sound artist and producer of electronic music Hanno Leichtmann, our artist-in-residence in Wellington, visited us in the studio to talk about his stay in New Zealand, his working process and his various projects. He is currently working on a sound installation for the “100 Jahre Beat” Festival at the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” in Berlin. This work is based only on the sounds of drummers and other percussionists who have influenced and inspired him. The mix here provides a first insight into the sounds for the installation. In addition to a few pieces by Hanno we also picked some other German songs for the show.


Session 31

26 February 2018 There is a lot going on in Wellington right now and the two interns Nora and Lisa are looking forward to various festivals, performances and events, including the theatre production of “The Comedy of Errors” by Summer Shakespeare Wellington. For 35 years now, the group that performs plays by Shakespeare in the summer as open air events has been an exciting element of the city‘s drama scene with cast and crew changing continuously. Our guests Hannah and Annika, two current crew members originally from Germany, visit us in the studio for our 31st show and talk about their new production, the challenges their team faced when deciding to play open-air in the buzzing heart of Wellington, and about the capital’s arts and festival scene.


Session 30

29 January 2018 In the 30th ‘Goethe on Air’ show, storyteller Volker Strübing stops by at the studio to talk to the new interns, Nora and Lisa, about his stay in New Zealand as the Goethe-Institut writer-in-residence at the Physics Room Christchurch. It’s a conversation about closeness and distance, inspiration in the unknown and the balance between work and holidays.
Being a filmmaker, author and photographer, Volker carefully observes his surroundings and wittily makes use of what he sees in his texts, videos and photos. Check out his blog about his stay in Christchurch and find out more about his work and his impressions of New Zealand.


Session 29

1 January 2018 Frohes neues Jahr! This New Year’s Day German-Japanese contemporary jewellery, sculpture and performance artist Yuka Oyama visits the studio for ‘Goethe on Air’. She received the “Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist Residency” and has therefore been working on her current project “Helpers – changing homes” in Wellington since last October. In the interview with Friedi and Anni Yuka talks about said project, in which she explores personal objects and their connection and meaning to their owners. Hear more about Yuka’s own experiences and the objects that have accompanied her throughout her life across the globe.
Until the exhibition opens on February 24th 2018 at The Dowse Art Museum, you can follow her work on Instagram or on her website.

Session 28

4 December 2017 In the latest show of 'Goethe on Air', Friedi and Anni have a chat with the atmospheric chemist Dave Lowe. He is the MBIE coordinator for the scientific and technological cooperation between Germany and New Zealand, a binational agreement that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Apart from his experiences with life in Germany and therefore in a foreign culture, Dave tells us about the significance and value of learning a new language for his work and international cooperation in general. He sees foreign languages as windows that allow views upon new perspectives and cultures. Of course, he does not withhold one or another story about the curiosities of his time in the 1970s small-town Germany.

Session 27

6 November 2017

"Set out into the world, to a different country, or wherever you like" – that is this episode’s topic: starting out into the unknown and to new adventures. We’ll especially talk about "Ankommen" though, the German word for arrival, which entails a little more than just that. Friedi introduces the new language intern Anni, whose “Ankommen” in Wellington went surprisingly fast. Furthermore, both of them welcome a special guest to the studio: New Zealand writer, historian and curator Paul Diamond. He will depart for Berlin soon, where he will work on his current book project for one year.
Find out more about his plans for Germany in the interview!

Session 26

9 October 2017 It is a common thing to thank the bus driver in New Zealand! – In this episode of Goethe on Air, Carina, who has spent three months in Wellington already, will explore certain cultural characteristics of the New Zealand way of life. She is also going to welcome the new intern in the cultural programme, Friederike, from Berlin. Talking about similarities and differences between Wellington and Berlin, they also discover that among other things both cities seem to have a special relationship with the green man of pedestrian crossings.
Carina and Friederike enjoyed this show immensely. Its soundtrack of all time classics such as “99 Luftballons” or “Pack die Badehose ein”, makes the session particularly entertaining.


11 September 2017 The German Film Festival starts on the 13th of September in Wellington, so Anni and Carina have collected various soundtracks from some of our festival films, to give you a musical introduction to what our festival selection sounds like. This year’s programme includes Drama, Documentary, Comedy and more – there is something to suit everyone’s taste –just listen to this Goethe on Air Show and you’ll get an insight into some of our films. Our personal Highlight in this year’s festival is “Goodbye Berlin”. During our 9th German Film Festival this year we will bring 10 great movies to the big screen till the 16th September. We are looking forward to it!


14 August 2017

"This is art at least in 1000 years." - This quote by the German band Frittenbude perfectly sums up what our upcoming show of 'Goethe on air' is all about: art. We are going to provide an insight into some aspects of the art scene in Germany with the focus on photography, musicals and literature, as well as German music of course. And for those of you who would like to experience the art of German films: You are more than welcome to join our German Film Festival.


17 July 2017 Winter has come to New Zealand and the winter sport season has already started, while in Germany everyone is enjoying the warmth of the sun lying  by a lake or doing some popular summer activities. In this show, we are going to talk about what you can do in Germany’s summer and we will play the best songs for this season. But before we start talking about the summer, our new interns in the German language department and cultural programme, Anni and Carina, are going to introduce themselves and their hometown in Germany. As we can’t forget we are in New Zealand and it’s winter right now, we will also tell you a little bit about winter sports in Germany.

Session 22

19 June 2017 “Forcing our way through masses of people we finally find the familiar way to the music. Where everything is loud and where everybody is getting ready to rave.” Everybody, who has ever visited a festival, has surely had a moment like this in „Tage wie diese“ (Days Like This) by Die Toten Hosen. A visit to a music festival feels like diving into one’s own small world, far away from the daily routine. Everything is based on having fun, dancing and celebrating. In Germany the opportunities for this are almost unlimited – over 500 music festivals take place every year and the potpourri of genres is a colourful mixture. In the latest episode of Goethe on Air, Alissa and Larissa will tell you more about the German festival scene full of stories about personal experiences, highlights and their favourite artists. And of course they will give you a flavour of the best festival music.

Session 21

22 May 2017 In Germany we think of May as the month of renewal – and this time it’s for real. Alissa, our new intern in the cultural programme department hosts this show alongside Larissa. Both talk about why Alissa is in New Zealand, what she is looking forward to the most and her great affection for Bamberg. Bamberg is a small, catholic student town located in the heart of Upper Franconia - similar to Bayreuth, Larissa’s home town. However since the Reformation in 1517, Bayreuth has been protestant, which is one reason why the two towns have developed in very different ways. The Reformation, triggered by Martin Luther, had an impact not only on Upper Franconia but also on the whole of Germany, Europe and the entire world. 

Session 20

24 April 2017 Germany is the unfunniest nation – at least that is what most people think. That might be true, but nevertheless there are some funny stories that can be told about Germany. Lena and Larissa have compiled some amusing facts about German culture, sports and inventions for you. Among others they will talk about the odyssey of the movie production of THE NEVERENDING STORY, which was interrupted by a plague of flies, the fiasco that meant there is no footage of the very first goal ever shot in the national football league and about the Dassler brothers, who made history with identical brand concepts.

Session 19

27 March 2017 „Rap is a matter of the heart. Lyrics will touch your soul, when you hear they were written by life.” And that is exactly what we are talking about in our latest Goethe on Air show. Janine Eisenächer, our artist in residence from Berlin, is our guest and talks with Larissa about her work as a female performance artist, about her participation at the this year’s Performance Arcade in Wellington and about HipHop and how this genre had an impact on her work and on her life in total.


20 February 2017 As a German proverb says „May makes everything new“ but maybe it was February? Either way! This time, our new interns Lena and Larissa introduce themselves to the audience. They talk about their home towns, their aspirations, swinging hearts, wanderlust and about the story behind the song “Around the World”. Additionally, you get to listen to a good variety of German songs taken from different genres.

Session 17

23 January 2017 Props are prohibited, but the text does not necessarily need to rhyme and
reading off the page is permitted: Poetry slam is all about the performance
of the texts by the poets themselves, mostly in front of a cheering crowd –
and brings literature to the stage rather than onto the pages of a book. Our
17th show of Goethe on Air leads us from the origin of slammed poetry in
some of the vibrant places in the US during the 1980s up until the
popularity of the competitive performance in Germany today. Among our
musicians and poets for the show are David Merritt, a New Zealand writer
and publisher, Michael Feindler, a poetry slammer and cabaret artist from
Münster and „Kleingeldprinzessin“ Dota Kehr, a German singersongwriter.

Session 16

26 December 2016 While Germany is already preparing to winterise, people in New Zealand are enjoying the first warm summer nights. In our last "Goethe on Air" of 2016, we will play the right songs for both seasons: The first part of the show "Klangvolle Jahreszeiten" / "Sounding Seasons" goes well with the crackling of wood-fired ovens, "Schneeflocken" covering the iced-over windows and the pleasent smell of cinnamon. The songs in the second part will inspire us to enjoy New Zealands crystal clear waters, to feel the increasing warmth of sunshine on our faces and to have a BBQ with friends. Happy New Year everyone!

Session 15

28 November 2016 “Rund um´s Rad” - “Around the wheel”: The 15th session of Goethe on Air will be all about “Fahrradkultur”, or in English “cycling culture”. We explore the world of passionate cyclists in New Zealand and Germany, who meet in bike parks, join a “critical mass” or pimp their “fixies”. Find out why a moustache and a KLAPPRAD ("folding bike") go along well with each other and how to cook up a storm in a "bike kitchen"! Our playlist guarantees tailwind and a relaxing free ride. Don´t hesitate to oil your chain, hop on your bike and find out what type of cyclist you are – is it “Der Kampfradler”, the “combat rider” or rather “Der Schrott-Fahrer”, the “trash rider”?

Session 14

31 Ocotber 2016 Our theme for the 14th session of “Goethe on Air” is inspired by the broadcasting date: October the 31st, which is widely celebrated as Halloween. The radio show will be all about “Gruseln”, or in English “Horror”. Spine-chilling songs, scary places in New Zealand and Germany and spooky childhood memories will be part of our programme. We invited Bronte, a Kiwi from Wellington, to give us an insight into her preferred horror-books and our German guest on the phone, Robin, introduces one of his favourite computer horror-games. Goose bumps and spine shivers are guaranteed with our selection of songs - just in time for the Halloween party!

Session 13

3 October 2016 Our 13th Goethe on Air session will take you on board a special tour around "München". After the “Oktoberfest”, there are still plenty of opportunities to discover and enjoy “München”. You will find a "Weißwurst Workshop", river surfing on the "Eisbach" and BMW´s exhibition of its 100 BMW masterpieces among our recommendations for the capital city of Bavaria. Traditional Bavarian oldies are part of the show as well as popular Hip Hop, Jazz and Indie Rock - all by musicians from "München".

Session 12

5 September 2016 According to the famous quote from Kurt Tuckolsky, a German journalist and writer, the biggest sight is the world itself – so let´s have a look at it: “Die größte Sehenswürdigkeit, die es gibt, ist die Welt – sieh sie Dir an.” The 12th radio show of Goethe on Air is all about “Fernweh” or so-called “wanderlust” in English. Together with our guests Elke, Anke and Norina we will talk about the longing for far-away places and about leaving home for good. German classics and contemporary songs will inspire you as a listener to pack your bags and explore the world…

Session 11

15 August 2016 This month our radio show will be about the language of young people in Germany. We will introduce some common phrases and have invited Christian Kahnt, the new director of the Goethe-Institut New Zealand, as well as Dilek, the new language intern, to talk about their thoughts on youth language in Germany. Youth slang is particularly shaped by music and media and vice versa.Therefore, we will also play a couple of influential music titles from Germany that include youth slang.

Session 10

18 July 2016 This month’s show will be about film music. We have invited the composer Johannes Contag to the studio. He has recently been commissioned by the NZIFF and the Goethe-Institut to compose a live score for the German 1920s silent film “Variety” (E.A. DuPont). Therefore, he will be able to give a specialised insight into his ways of composing film music and his favourite existing film music.
In this show you will also hear more about Larissa, the new intern at the Goethe-Institut.

Session 9

20 June 2016 For this month’s show we will talk about the Europameisterschaft (European Football Championship) which started on the 10th of June. This event is very popular in Germany - not only for the sporting competition but also for the intercultural encounters. Svenja Plaumann, a football enthusiast, will give us an insight into her view on this topic. We will play various songs that deal with football, solidarity and friendship.                    
Furthermore our new intern Kamilla will introduce herself.

Session 8

23 May 2016 The show is all about 'Heimat' (home). We were asking ourselves if there are different connections to Heimat for us and even if there's a different unterstanding of Heimat between Germans and New Zealanders. As guest we have Tanja Schubert-McArthur with us in the studio. She wrote the book 'Mit Sack und Pack nach Neuseeland' ('With bag and baggage to New Zealand').
Also the new intern Sarah will tell us something about herself.

Session 7

25 April 2016 The show will focus on the farewell of our director Bettina Senff as she is leaving for Copenhagen, Denmark, where she's taking over the management of the Danish Goethe-Institut. She will talk about her time here in New Zealand and share some of her favourite songs with us. Furthermore Jan Haase, the new intern in the language department is introducing himself.

Session 6

28 March 2016 Our guest in this show is the Goethe-Institut Artist in Residence 2016 Marc Brandenburg. In the interview he gives us a short insight into his art and his life. He also talks a little bit about his time here in New Zealand.
But we have a second new face at the Goethe-Institut: Roman Maier is the new administration intern and he's introducing himself. Of course we provide you with the latest cultural news and because it's Easter, we give you a short German Crash Course in the most important Easter words.

Session 5

29 February 2016
Art, dance, theatre and literature - there are many cultural events going on at the Goethe-Institut in Wellington. We have a look at the event calendar of the Goethe-Institut and tell you the latest news. Thekla our cultural intern introduces herself to us. We also have two special guests with us in the studio this time: theatre director Uta Plate and translator and researcher Sally-Ann Spencer.

Session 4

01 February 2016 Berlin, the Berlinale Film Festival and the Berlinale Spotlight. Our fourth session is all about the German capital. Our language intern Saskia introduces herself to us and she tells us what she likes the most about Berlin and Wellington. We also have Ulli with us in the studio who talks about the Berlinale and the Berlinale Spotlight in Wellington. We play German songs from and about Berlin.

Session 3

04 January 2016 Our show in January just feels like holidays, summer and sunny weather. Judith gives an interview and there will be a German taster course especially for summer. We want that the sunny atmosphere increases so we only play the greatest German summer songs.

Session 2

07 December 2015 The second show is all about Christmas. We will have two Kiwi language students with us in the studio who will take part in a taster course of German, recommend a great German movie and give you an idea of some typical German Christmas traditions.

Session 1

10 November 2015 Today you will hear some of our favourite German music, listen to two interviews with our interns Johanna and Caren about their life, what brought them to Wellington and what they like most there, as well as latest news and events from the Goethe-Institut New Zealand.