Apply for funding
NZ On Air believes the media consumed by our tamariki should not only stimulate their imagination, but also help them to build and affirm their sense of self and cultural identity.
It’s important that children in Aotearoa can watch and interact with characters with their own accents, colloquialisms and values.
Audiovisual HEIHEI content ranges from comedy and cartoons through to healthy cooking shows, outdoor adventures series, science experiments and more! This content is hosted on a dedicated ad-free HEIHEI channel on TVNZ OnDemand.
HEIHEI games are available through HEIHEI.nz and include everything from the Brain Busters daily quiz to the wonderful Māori vocabulary game Tahi Two.
All content commissioned under the HEIHEI brand is guided by a child-centric Charter of Principles.
This is the framework that underpins HEIHEI. It outlines the principles and motivations for the platform. It supports our content assessment and funding decisions, and feeds into the overall strategy.
HEIHEI receives ongoing operational funding as well as content funding.
The next HEIHEI round is invitation only and closes 4pm 18 March 2021.
For all 2021 funding round deadlines, including HEIHEI funding rounds, please refer to our 2021 deadlines document.
HEIHEI content sets out to spark curiosity and creativity in tamariki through age-appropriate, quality local content that reflects Kiwi kids (accents, diversity, colloquialisms and values). Content may include educational aspects, and above all else, is engaging, fun and entertaining.
Applications made through our online application system will be assessed by a panel made up of NZ On Air, TVNZ and external assessors.
If you are not registered please register now. Once you're registered and logged in you'll have access to your dashboard, which will show all the open funding rounds, and any applications you have made or have in progress.
When submitting an application do we need to have an affiliated broadcast partner?
If your application relates to content for HEIHEI only (and is asking for under $500k in production funding) then you do not need to have a broadcast partner.
If you have secured a broadcast outcome, the broadcaster will be able to confirm the broadcast commitment within our online application system if selected as your Primary Platform.
If you have secured support from any other additional platform, please upload a letter of support from that platform.
Will you fund native apps for smartphones and tablets?
For the right idea we might. But one of our key focuses is on keeping tamariki within the safe ad-free HEIHEI environment, and limiting the need to click outside of this (i.e. to an app store).
Will you fund Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality content?
MR and VR will are harder propositions to fund for HEIHEI as they’re not readily-accessible enough in New Zealand yet to reach a wide audience of children.
The options for AR will be dependent on the technical / app solution used to deliver the experience and how that can easily integrate with the HEIHEI Games platform.
Does a series have to have an episodic structure like it does currently for linear broadcast?
There is no fixed duration or number of episodes required for content on this platform. Please contact HEIHEI Manager firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss such content details.
Resources for HEIHEI producers
The purpose of the HEIHEI brand guide is to provide an understanding of the HEIHEI identity.
To preserve the identity of the brand, please adhere to all guidelines specified in this document.
If you have any further queries relating to this guide or the HEIHEI identity, please contact:
The HEIHEI end resolve should be added to any piece of fully NZ On Air funded content made especially for HEIHEI, over 2 minutes long.
It can be cut in with the end of the of the content piece so that the colours swipe across the end frame and the sound blends seamlessly.
If you're unsure, or haven't applied the HEIHEI end resolve to your content in the past, we recommend editing it onto one piece of content and sending it to either:
HEIHEI manager email@example.com
or NZ On Air Communications Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
for design/brand checks before proceeding with the rest.
This document includes an overview of HEIHEI social channels, HEIHEI brand guidelines / tone of voice, the preferred way of working for publicity and the deliverables to make your show shine on HEIHEI.
If you have any further queries relating to this guide please contact:
Adele Millin - presentation of the latest HEIHEI user research (00:00-21:10)
Kate Saunders - update on moving HEIHEI shows to TVNZ Ondemand (21:15-40:12)
Dan Milward - update on the development of the new HEIHEI games platform (40:15-48:20)
Anna Currie, Ngawaero Maniapoto - update on the next RFP for children’s content (48:35-57:00)
History of HEIHEI
In early 2016, as a result of significant research, planning and consultation, NZ On Air decided it was time our tamariki had a purpose-built home for local stories, games and songs.
We issued a call (Expressions Of Interest) for ideas to provide a fresh way to connect primary school-aged tamariki with a range of online New Zealand content made especially for them.
The result was an innovative collaboration between NZ On Air and TVNZ for a safe, ad-free online platform. Managed by TVNZ the site would feature a wide range of local shows, games, audio and music videos funded through NZ On Air's contestable fund.
And so HEIHEI – te reo Māori for commotion or chicken - was born!
On March 26 2018, NZ On Air and TVNZ launched HEIHEI as a free website, iOS app and Android app. The website featured newly-funded local content and a range of hand-picked international titles for primary-aged children.
HEIHEI was well received by Aotearoa's tamariki. In the space of just one year the website had over 773,000 visits by 226,000 unique users, the app had been downloaded 92,000 times and the average session duration was 40 minutes. Eight of the top 10 titles on the platform were local, proving New Zealand children wanted and loved local content.
As HEIHEI celebrated its first birthday, new endpoints including Chromecast and Smart TV apps, as well as new features like captions also became available, making local kids’ content more accessible for tamariki and their parents than ever before.
On May 12 2020, it was announced that the underlying software platform supporting HEIHEI would no longer be available, and so HEIHEI video content was moved to its new home on TVNZ OnDemand and HEIHEI Games moved to a new digital platform.
HEIHEI retained its autonomous brand on TVNZ OnDemand, with content served through a specifically branded, ad-free section. HEIHEI continues to be a safe place for young people to explore local content.
Meanwhile, HEIHEI Games continues to be available at HEIHEI.nz and via the HEIHEI app.