NZ On Air’s latest announcement commits almost $13 million to kids TV and kid-focused initiatives via the Digital Media Fund.
The range of local content on offer for children and young people is expanding, with new projects funded by NZ On Air for both television and digital platforms.
$13 million has been invested in 13 projects for children in the latest decisions from NZ On Air, including six digital or online projects.
“Content for children is integral to the principles of public broadcasting. Increasingly we are looking at ways to engage children across a range of platforms, recognising that they have access to a range of media devices,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
“Our goal is to ensure that children can enjoy local stories, characters and accents on whatever platforms they choose or have access to,” says Ms Wrightson.
NZ On Air’s Kickstart Digital Media Fund, which supports interactive transmedia or cross-platform projects, will fund two new projects primarily for school-age children.
The first is Jiwi’s Machines – a multi-platform series in which Jiwi builds elaborate contraptions. The project is intended to inspire budding young New Zealand inventors, innovators and scientists.
The second project, Wild Eyes, will develop an interactive website that encourages youngsters to discover, collect and monitor the wild things in their backyards.
The Ignite Digital Media Fund, for small innovative and interactive projects, will support five projects including 12 Huia Birds – an interactive picture book and app which will help children to understand the plight of New Zealand’s threatened wildlife through the story of the extinct huia.
The Lumiere Reader will engage young people through video essays on the challenges, inspiration and history behind New Zealand’s art scenes.
Yours TV will be a series of webisodes hosted by young presenters, bringing together a mix of music, arts, film, culture, social and environmental reports on the yours.net.nz site.
The successful children’s webseries Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life will be complemented with a website and app providing tools to encourage conversation around bullying, peer pressure and self- esteem.
Meanwhile on television, new series The Barefoot Bandits, is an animated story based on two hard-case characters Tane and Fridge, who first appeared in the NZ On Air-funded special Missing Christmas. It is for young primary age children. The popular puppet Moe will be back to entertain the youngest viewers with another series of The Moe Show, as will the animated characters of Little Monstar and Wiki The Kiwi.
Primary aged children also have the returning popular Sticky TV providing a daily magazine style show, and will continue to wake up on Sundays to the fun and antics on What Now. Tweens and teens will continue to have The 4.30 Show to look forward to after school each day.
NZ On Air is about to start a comprehensive research project to understand what media children are consuming, and the preferences and concerns of parents ahead of a new Children’s strategy.
Jiwi’s Machines, Too Much Personality Productions, $300,000
Wild Eyes, POP Film, $300,000
Yours TV, Your Media Ltd, $45,000
Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life App, Brown Sugar Apple Grunt, $45,000
12 Huia Birds, Yoozoo, $43,491
The Lumiere Reader, Lumiere Industries, $27,760
What Now 2015, 40 x 2 hrs, What Now for TV2, $3,189,000
The 4.30 Show, 200 x 30mins, Whitebait Productions for TV2, $3,080,400
Sticky TV 2015, 264 x 35 mins, Pickled Possum Productions for FOUR, $2,364,627
The Moe Show, 52 x 11 mins, Pop-Up Workshop for FOUR, $1,974,926
The Barefoot Bandits, 10 x 30 mins, Mukpuddy Animation for TV2, $827,670
Little Monstar 2, 20 x 5 mins, Tiki Tour (2010) for TV2, $394,980
Wiki The Kiwi 3, 12 x 7 mins, Wiki The Kiwi for TV2, $339,670