HEIHEI, the safe, ad-free home for children’s media content is moving its shows to TVNZ OnDemand from next week.

Funded by NZ On Air and operated by TVNZ, HEIHEI was launched in May 2018 to provide tamariki with one place to find video content, games and songs made for them. It has been available on a standalone website HEIHEI.nz and available as an iOS and Android app.

However, the underlying platform will no longer be supported, so TVNZ has offered HEIHEI a new home for the shows, within its leading free streaming site.

HEIHEI will retain its autonomous brand on TVNZ OnDemand, with content served in a variety of ways for viewers. HEIHEI will be displayed as its own branded channel on the home page. In kids’ profiles, HEIHEI will be designated at the top of the page and will also have its own ‘belt’ displaying show content. Specific HEIHEI programmes will be searchable too. These moves ensure HEIHEI will continue to be a safe, ad-free place for young people to explore local content. Meanwhile HEIHEIgames will continue to be available at HEIHEI.nz and on the apps, as well as being linked from the TVNZ On Demand show pages.

“We are looking forward to seeing the audience for HEIHEI continue to grow, with the move to NZ’s most popular local streaming site. The wealth of fun, educational content available for tamariki continues to expand as we continue to invest in more shows, games and songs from our wonderful children’s content creators,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Cameron Harland.

TVNZ Director of Content Cate Slater said, “HEIHEI is an important home for tamariki to discover and fall in love with local stories that reflect their own unique perspectives. With this move, our intention is to retain what is unique and special about HEIHEI, while enabling the content to benefit from TVNZ OnDemand’s scale and ongoing technology development.”

A further benefit of the move to the TVNZ On Demand site is that the overall cost to NZ On Air of running HEIHEI will reduce by just under $200,000 in the next financial year.

TVNZ will undertake a comprehensive campaign to ensure whānau know how to find HEIHEI content and how to set themselves up to view. New and existing users to TVNZ OnDemand have the ability to create either adult or kids profiles on the platform (up to five per account). This is an important step as children’s profiles can be restricted to either G or G and PG rated content, ensuring an appropriate home for younger viewers with no mature content served. HEIHEI will be displayed throughout the OnDemand site, but it will have particular prominence within kids’ individual profiles.

HEIHEI video content will be available on TVNZ OnDemand from Monday 18 May. Tamariki will still be able to access the shows and games via the HEIHEI site and apps. From the end of June, HEIHEI.nz will become a landing page where children can opt to “WATCH” or “PLAY”. Clicking on “WATCH” will take viewers through to their TVNZ OnDemand profile. Clicking on “PLAY” will take kids through to the selection of HEIHEI games that they can either play directly on the site or app, or for some they can download separately. This enhanced games solution is being operated by Gamefroot.