The Beacon has been delivering news to the Eastern Bay since 1939 and is the leading source of community news in the region. The paper was founded by Leicester Spring and is still owned by the Spring family. Leicester’s son John Spring is the managing director.


The Beacon is published twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and can be delivered via a subscription or purchased in any leading retail store or dairy in the Eastern Bay. The Beacon is owned by The Beacon Media Group,
which also publishes the Waitomo News and Opotiki News.


The first issue of the Bay of Plenty Beacon was printed on April 21, 1939. The tri-weekly newspaper was given its name by the first editor, Clive Kingsley-Smith, who wrote: ‘A Beacon’s beam penetrates the darkness, revealing the furthermost corners and shedding light on every movement and activity that takes place within its arc.’ For a short time during WWII, the newspaper was reduced to bi-weekly, but on July 31, 1945, tri-weekly publishing resumed. The name was also changed to the Whakatane Beacon. The Whakatane Beacon was printed on a flat-bed press until 1976, when the offset press was installed. The first computer typesetting was introduced in 1984. Over 14,000 people aged 15+ read every issue of the Beacon, making it the most widely read newspaper in the Eastern Bay. Due to Covid-19, the Beacon has made the decision to publish bi-weekly once again only publishing Wednesday and Friday.