By ROSALEEN MACBRAYNE

New Zealand fans of the BBC World Service need not despair - they will still be able to hear Britain's voice to the world even though the broadcaster is shutting down its shortwave transmitter in Singapore on July 1.

That's because the move will not affect the rebroadcasts now available.

The Auckland Radio Trust, set up three years ago to save the service, will continue its free-to-air 24-hour broadcasts that attract 35,000 listeners a week.

In the Wellington area, TelstraSaturn Cable and Kapiti Beach FM will rebroadcast the service that is fed to them through a satellite.

Those who are unable to get the rebroadcast service will still be able to access it on the internet.

The decision to close the Singapore link and switch it to the internet will save the corporation £500,000 ($1.68 million) a year, but the move is likely to be unpopular with the service's hardcore fans.

The Auckland Radio Trust runs the feed over the 1476 AM frequency.

Its service manager, Vince Geddes, said yesterday the trust was "solid as a rock" and its listeners would not be left in the lurch.

He said if there were frequencies available, the trust would broadcast the service outside Auckland.