10 July, 2023
Aotearoa New Zealand’s youngest audiences will continue to be engaged, entertained, and educated with a new $7m boost to content and games made for them by talented Kiwi creators.
NZ On Air, under its new Children's Funding Strategy, aims to promote digital-first content across a broader range of platforms. By maximising the accessibility of the content, it increases the likelihood of tamariki and their whānau discovering and enjoying it across multiple platforms simultaneously.
Head of Funding, Amie Mills, says the first funding round of the new financial year has provided support for several successful returning titles, and captivating new kids’ games.
“It’s a joy to support screen and interactive stories that let our tamariki see themselves and their sense of place reflected in the media they consume, and it’s a testament to our remarkable creators that they can seamlessly integrate learning opportunities into entertaining content,” she continues.
For pre-schoolers, the popular Toi Time will be back for a third season, to educate and entertain through singing and dancing. Also returning is The Kids of Kōrero Lane a series that embraces Deaf children as lead actors and introduces tamariki to New Zealand Sign Language in the most natural setting - at play.
Comedian Josh Thomson will be back with a second season of the fun and slightly irreverent educational show My Favourite Dead Person. The original format series honours Aotearoa New Zealand historical figures by telling incredible, funny, and outrageous stories while highlighting what makes them unique and relevant to our special corner of the world.
Also into a second season is Extreme Cake Sports. Combining the sweetness of cakes and sports action, this unique competition show that is both serious and silly at the same time, has kids from different schools do battle in sporting challenges to win ingredients to make their cake.
Top-rating observational documentary series Young Riders will return for a fourth season, following young riders as they compete in show-jumping events. And The Drawing Show is back for a fourth year with colourful cartoon items of stationery running an instructional drawing show.
Brain Busters will be back to quiz kids and promote learning, and into its 43rd year, the action-packed What Now will continue to put kids front and center of the fun, with games, guests, and gunge. This year they’ll be both building their community online and also travelling around the motu for live crosses from various community events.
You’re bound to be onto a winner if you combine games with dogs right? Dog School is a high school simulator game for tweens that aims to represent – in its own doggy way – the richness and strangeness of high school. Comprised of more than 30 simple minigames, each representing a different aspect of high school life, it aims to help kids to create meaning and sense and understand the world.
Uncle Stickybeak and the Great Un-Birdification is an interactive fiction adventure game for children 10-12-years old based on the concept of having to unravel mysteries and ‘save the day’ after your uncle is turned into a seagull.
Traditional Māori pātiki designs feature in a puzzle game Pātiki. In both te reo Māori and English, points are earned by rotating randomised tiles, and there’s also a creator mode so players can create their own designs.
NZ On Air has a new online directory of funded Children’s content currently available to view. Explore it here.
What Now 2024, 40 x 58', Whitebait for YouTube and YouTube Kids, TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+, up to $2,199,670
Toi Time! 3, 20 x 29' Rogue Productions for YouTube, TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+ up to $1,159,692
Brain Busters 2024, 60 x 25’ to Whitebait for YouTube, YouTube Kids, up to $980,000
My Favourite Dead Person 2, 8 x 8’ The Down Low Concept for YouTube and YouTube Kids, up to $577,853
Young Riders 4, 8 x 22’ Greenstone TV for YouTube, YouTube Kids and Country TV, up to $510,734
The Drawing Show 4, 20 x 5’ Mukpuddy for Prime/Sky, YouTube and YouTube Kids, up to $476,360
Extreme Cake Sports 2, 10 x 22’ Good Times Company for YouTube and YouTube Kids, up to $398,615
Kids of Kōrero Lane 2, 8 x 4’30” Attitude Pictures for Attitude Live, YouTube and YouTube Kids, up to $324,114
Dog School, Spookysoft Games for Steam, itch.io, Google Play Store and Apple App Store, up to $117,570
Uncle Stickybeak and the Great Un-Birdification, Spookysoft Games for Steam, itch.io, Google Play Store and Apple App Store, up to $67,320
Pātiki, Arctic Arcade for Google Play Store and Apple App Store, up to $45,000