World-class programming for the young

We fund television programmes for young New Zealanders, from preschoolers to teenagers. These programmes expose our young people to our culture and help them engage with the world they live in.


Children and youth are key audiences for NZ On Air under the Broadcasting Act. We fund a diverse range of programming, from drama and animation to long-run magazine series for young people of all ages.

Programmes we fund have a clear target audience, demonstrate a sound educational framework and hold their own against international content. Our funding ensures there is a local option for young people to watch on television almost every day of the week.

Children’s programming in New Zealand is almost entirely dependent on public investment. 76% of the first-run local children’s programming broadcast on free-to-air television is supported by NZ On Air. We prioritise our investment in children’s programmes on TV2 and FOUR, the channels which have dedicated scheduling for children. Children’s programmes are also supported by Māori Broadcasting agency Te Māngai Pāho and Māori Television.

Annually we spend around $13million on children’s and young people’s programmes from the general contestable fund.


Terry Teo

July 2016

Terry Teo

Terry is on a mission to avenge his father’s murder in this witty action drama which makes for great family viewing.

The Cul De Sac

March 2016

The Cul De Sac

Waking to find there are no adults and no technology, this brand new teen drama series follows Rose and her friends as they tackle a dystopian world.

The Moe Show

September 2015

The Moe Show

A pre-school puppet series that allows the youngest New Zealanders to hear our languages and accents and see our people and places on television.

University Challenge

October 2016

University Challenge

It's time to turn back the clock - University Challenge is back! The original New Zealand adaptation of University Challenge screened on New Zealand television for 14 years, airing from 1976 to 1989.

Little Monstar

October 2015

Little Monstar

A pre-school animation series that provides our youngest viewers with opportunities to be socially and emotionally involved in the issues they face every day.

The Barefoot Bandits

February 2016

The Barefoot Bandits

Get the family together and tune into The Barefoot Bandits to see where the adventures of Tane, Fridge and Riley will lead them next!

The Adam and Eve Show

February 2017

The Adam and Eve Show

We aim to provide programming for local kids at every age and stage. This programmes delivers relevant content for tweens and teens every weekday.


In late 2014 we commissioned research, along with the Broadcasting Standards Authority, into children's media use to help inform a review of what content we will fund for children in the future.

The research was released in March 2015 and the strategy review is now underway.

In May 2015 we released a discussion paper, and invited submissions on this. In August 2015 we published the public submissions we received. 

A forum held in Wellington in November 2015 further discussed the concepts for a new approach to children's content.

In March 2016 we released a call for Expressions of Interest in providing a new online space for NZ children's content. This was an idea that had come out of the earlier consultation. The closing date for EOI responses is midday 27 April 2016.


Digital · Music · Radio · Television · NZ on Air · 30th March 2015

Children's Media Use Study 2015

TV is still the dominant screen in New Zealand children's lives, but tablets and smartphones are now in daily use and Youtube has become one of their main sources of content.

Apply for funding

There is one funding round a year for Children's and Young People's programming. Decisions in 2015 will be announced in September.

Funding deadlines and how to apply

Funding to date, 2016-17

Wilde Ride $994,798

Dec 2016 · Tomorrowland Television Limited · TVNZ 2 · 6 x 30 mins · Children's Drama · TV Platinum Fund

What Now 2017 $3,189,000

Sep 2016 · Whitebait Productions · TV 2 · 40 x 120 mins · Children · TV Production

Moe's Christmas $240,674

Sep 2016 · Pop-Up Workshop · TV3 · 1 x 30 mins · Children · TV Production

Kiri And Boo $860,943

Sep 2016 · Field Theory · TV3 · 20 x 5 mins · Children · TV Production

The Moe Show 4 $1,093,085

Sep 2016 · Pop-Up Workshop · TV3 · 60 x 5 mins · Children · TV Production

Someday Stories $150,000

Sep 2016 · Connected Media Trust · Maori Television On Demand · 6 x 8 mins · Children · TV Digital Funding

Sticky TV 2017 $2,374,300

Sep 2016 · Pickled Possum Productions · TV3 · 236 x 30 mins · Children · TV Production

The Adam And Eve Show 2017 $3,080,400

Sep 2016 · Whitebait Productions · TV 2 · 200 x 30 mins · Children · TV Production

University Challenge 2016 $313,432

May 2016 · Cue Productions · Prime · 15 x 30 · Youth · TV Production