27 September 2022

NZ On Air has invested in the production of 16 dynamic new local series and games – available to tamariki across a wide range of digital and traditional media platforms.

In the first funding round since the release of NZ On Air’s new Children’s Content Strategy in July, Head Of Funding Amie Mills says the projects supported mark a new era in reaching and engaging kids.

“It’s wonderful to see producers have wholeheartedly embraced our new research-driven digital-first approach to content distribution. Our new strategy ensures tamariki can easily find and enjoy world-class local content on the platforms they spend the most time,” she said.

Created by tamariki, for tamariki – Kea Kids News will continue to keep our youngest citizens informed about all the issues that matter most to them, widely distributed via TikTok, YouTube, NZ Herald online, Prime, and Nickelodeon/Cartoon Network.

Following the adventures of two fanciful creatures in the primeval forest of Aotearoa, the award-winning claymation series Kiri and Lou is back to teach kids important life lessons on Prime, TVNZ 2, TVNZ+, and YouTube.

For TVNZ+, TVNZ 2, RNZ and Whakaata Māori, Bird’s Eye View returns with more feather-brained perspectives and misguided theories about the true weirdos of the animal kingdom – humans!

A spin-off from the popular TVNZ+ K-Pop Academy series, KPA – Battle Squad follows the next generation of wannabe squad dancers as they compete across a mash-up of street dance genres.

Popular YouTube creators Michal Bush (Music With Michal) and Dave Martin (Busy Beavers) will team up with Pop Up Workshop’s Jeremy Dillon to create a wealth of new Moe and Michal crossover content for YouTube and Prime.

Classic fairytales will be given a musical Island twist in the second season of Fresh Fairytales. Also returning is the much-loved radio series Suzy and Friends, the hilarious bite-sized The Poo Files, the live-action pre-school series Toi Time!, the imaginative What Will I Be Today?, tamariki quiz show Brain Busters, the Sunday morning classic What Now, and the te reo language learning series Speak Māori For Kids.

NZ On Air has also invested in the production of five innovative new games for tamariki.

Comic Creation Kit allows players to create comic strips by mixing and matching characters, dialogue, and story elements.

From the creators of Kune Kune Shopkeeper comes The Hua Company, an exciting new local farm management simulation game.

Kai Navigator will take kids around the world on a quest to discover and collect native fruits, vegetables and kaimoana for local kaitiaki in a race-the-clock scavenger hunt.

Māoringo is a fun, dungeon-crawler game that teaches players basic te reo Māori.

It's Kooky – Land of Aotearoa is a hidden object video game set within the beautiful landscapes and historical regions of Aotearoa.

“To know that our tamariki will grow up with access to fun, creative, and proudly local games that reflect their own environments, upbringings and cultures is an absolute thrill,” said Head Of Funding Amie Mills.

“NZ On Air is also proud to support the talented New Zealand game industry – who already punch well above their weight in the creation of incredible, innovative gaming content,” she continued.

Funding marked with an asterisk is for content intended for broadcast on TVNZ or RNZ. Assuming the legislation establishing the new ANZPM passes, NZ On Air funding would end at 30 June 2023. This means these funding amounts may be subject to change. (Funding of $1m or less is unaffected in this round for timing reasons)

Funding details

Kea Kids News 4, Luke Nola, 132 x 4 mins for NZME – NZ Herald online, 33 x 20 mins for Prime, 624 x 1.5 mins for TikTok, 132 x 4 mins for YouTube, and 208 x 1 mins for Nickelodeon / Cartoon Network, up to $1,141,544.

*Brain Busters 2023, 160 x 25 mins, Whitebait Media for TVNZ 2, up to $1,979,964.

*What Now 2023, Whitebait Media for TVNZ 2. Funding and duration to be confirmed.

*Toi Time! 2, 20 x 29 mins, Rogue Productions for TVNZ 2, up to $1,152,088.

*Bird’s Eye View 2, 10 x 5 mins, Sweetshop and Green for TVNZ+, TVNZ 2, RNZ and Whakaata Māori, up to $731,305.

*Fresh Fairytales 2, Tikilounge Productions 5 x 15 mins Scripted + 5 x 2 mins for TVNZ+, TVNZ 2, Coconet TV, and YouTube, 30 x 1 mins for TikTok, for, and TikTok, up to $697,000.

*Kiri and Lou 4, 10 x 5 mins, Kiri and Lou for Prime, TVNZ 2, TVNZ+ and YouTube, up to $499,999.

*KPA – Battle Squad, 8 x 20 mins, Greenstone TV for TVNZ and TVNZ+, up to $489,603.

Moe and Michal, 8 x 20 mins, Pop Up Workshop for YouTube and Prime, up to $319,200.

Speak Māori for Kids 2, 150 x 4 mins, Adrenalin for YouTube, the Speak Māori For Kids website, and Māori Language.net, up to $567,820.

Suzy and Friends 2023, 53 x 45 mins, Treehut for 26 regional radio stations, up to $136,000.

*The Poo Files 2, 20 x 2 mins, Rude Girl Productions for TVNZ+, TVNZ 2 and Rova, up to $267,730.

*What Will I Be Today?, 9 x 5 mins, POW Studios for TVNZ+ and RNZ, up to $500,000.


Comic Creation Kit, Spookysoft Games for HEIHEI Games, up to $53,040.

It’s Kooky - Land of Aotearoa, Roshan Shaffeq Nowshad for HEIHEI Games, up to $39,380.

Kai Navigator, Mad Carnival for HEIHEI Games, up to $77,340.

Māoringo, Teramon for HEIHEI Games, up to $8,052.

The Hua Company, Thousand Tonic for HEIHEI Games, up to $59,500.