Primary aged tamariki will soon have their own news to help them understand the world around them and become informed young citizens.

Kea Kids News is a project selected from a very strong field of proposals that will be funded as a pilot from the one-off additional funding allocated to NZ On Air in the 2018 Budget.

Created by Luke Nola and Friends, the creative brains behind the kids science shows Let’s Get Inventin’ and Nanogirl & The Imaginauts, the project will deliver seven minute audio-visual news bulletins twice a week on the online children’s platform HEIHEI* and in a new dedicated kids news page on Stuff. The young reporters from around the country will be mentored by Stuff journalists.

“We have wanted to provide an original way to interpret age-appropriate news for kids for some time, recognising young New Zealanders need to be informed about local and world events in a way they can relate to. With the launch last year of the HEIHEI children’s online platform, and the opportunity created by additional government funding, we are delighted this can now be a reality,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Aptly named after the highly inquisitive and intelligent native bird, Kea Kids News will provide a kid’s view of current affairs and source its tamariki journalists through a variety of primary schools across the country beginning with the Manaiakalani Trust education programme.

Kea Kids News empowers all tamariki to learn and share through the power of their own creativity. Through their voice we make news relevant to 7 to 10 year olds,” says creator Luke Nola.

Chair of the NZ Children’s Screen Trust Janette Howe, who assisted on the selection panel, says the proposal is a fresh approach. “Kea Kids News will give kids the news that matters most to them, and will engage them as citizens who can understand and make a difference to their world.”

The pilot news project will receive up to $1million in funding from the $4million in the 2018 Budget extra allocation to NZ On Air for under-served audiences.

*HEIHEI is the online platform created by TVNZ and NZ On Air for children’s content.