New daily children’s TV show to underpin new online children’s platform


Digital · Media Releases · Television · 22nd November 2017

NZ On Air has today announced funding for a new multi-platform daily children’s TV show, Fanimals, which centres around kids and their pets.

Fanimals will be broadcast weekdays on TVNZ 2. The programme will also provide extended, interconnected and exclusive content to HEIHEI, TVNZ and NZ On Air’s new online media platform for primary-aged children.

In addition to the programme’s two homes, Fanimals will have a dedicated App and games, meaning children will have multiple ways to engage.

Fanimals will be produced by experienced children’s TV producers, Christchurch-based Whitebait Media, who were selected from a field of 10 high quality responses to an RFP.

“Children are a particularly important audience for NZ On Air – they need stimulating and engaging media in a safe environment. And seeing and hearing children just like them helps them to develop their sense of belonging and identity as New Zealanders,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“We are very happy to support a new children’s series with so many ways to engage and with broad family appeal,” said Ms Wrightson.

Amie Mills, Children’s and Digital Commissioner at TVNZ said Fanimals is integral to HEIHEI: “We’re committed to local children’s programming and engaging with our youngest viewers to create content that inspires them, makes them laugh, and broadens their horizons. Our new flagship show Fanimals is the perfect example of a format that works for TV as well interactive and online viewing.”

The Fanimals project brings the total sum invested so far this year by NZ On Air in content for children to over $13 million. This is in addition to the $1.5 million being spent on development of HEIHEI.

HEIHEI – te reo for commotion or chicken – will launch in the first half of 2018, carrying a wide range of mainly local content for primary-aged children on a safe, ad-free platform. Children and their parents were integral to the process of choosing the name HEIHEI.

HEIHEI is a collaboration between NZ On Air and TVNZ after NZ On Air selected TVNZ to provide the service through a contestable process.

The platform will be managed and curated by TVNZ, drawing on the company’s content and technology expertise

Please see images below for a peek at what HEIHEI will look like.