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$12m NZ on Air investment in stimulating content for tamariki

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand tamariki have much to be excited about, with just under $12.5 million in funding confirmed for a raft of new screen and music content including a new daily kids quiz show.

NZ On Air’s latest funding round has backed new and returning shows for broadcast on TVNZ 2, and for the funded ad-free children’s platform HEIHEI.

Something new to stimulate young brains is Brain Busters, to screen on weekday afternoons on TVNZ 2. The family-friendly show will pit 10-14 year olds against each other in games that will test their bodies and brains.

A live-action drama series, to be executive produced by Cliff Curtis, will be developed from the award-winning novel The Legend Of The Bone Tiki. Perennial favourite What Now also returns, as the show continues to take the fun out of the studio and to the kids, with live broadcasts from the road.

Ramping up pre-school content, factual series Code Fun will engage our youngest viewers with digital technology and robotics; Morgan Lives In A Rocket Ship will engage with a new 3D animated series; and the charming Darwin And Newts animation series extends to a third and final season.

Meanwhile on HEIHEI there’ll be seven entirely new projects for kids to explore, and five new seasons of projects that launched this year and delighted child and parent audiences.

Among the new content is Science On Ice, showcasing the importance of NZ’s work in Antarctica; a celebration of the popular K-Pop music genre will teach kids some cool new dance moves in K-Pop Academy, and a Rautaki Māori series that investigates the science, technology, engineering and mathematics behind traditional Māori practices, in Puta Mōhio.

A member of the What Now alumni, Jason Fa’afoi, returns to screens as he pairs talented young performers with well-known musicians to write and record an original song on the ukulele, in Uke Can Do It!, and it's ‘Scooby-Doo’ meets Māoritanga in a new animated mystery-adventure series set in early Aotearoa, in Island Of Mystery.

Along with 12 new music projects funded through the NZ On Air New Music Kids scheme, tamariki will have a tonne of new creative content that connects and reflects them.

"We place a lot of importance on funding content for young minds that will nurture and entertain them. We want our tamariki to grow up hearing our own accent, understanding te reo, and feeling comfortable with identifying as a New Zealander. This is what good public media for children can and should do," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

"We are very fortunate to have some of the best and most creative children’s media content creators right here in Aotearoa," she continued.

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