New Zealand’s national broadcaster TVNZ and independent broadcast funding agency NZ On Air have launched HEIHEI, a new online children’s media platform. Available as an iOS and Android app, as well as a free website, the new media hub features new local content as well as international titles for primary school-aged children.
The ad-free platform includes locally produced series such as Fanimals, Māia The Brave, Kai Five, 199 Little Heroes, What Now, Darwin and Newts, The Barefoot Bandits, Tamariki Takeover, George & Me and more.
The new multi-platform destination for kids will also include web-based games and apps for a number of the series.
Fanimals, funded by NZ On Air as part of the HEIHEI launch, centers around kids and their pets. It is broadcast on TVNZ 2 while also providing exclusive extended content to HEIHEI. Produced by Christchurch-based Whitebait Media, the series was part of NZ On Air’s more than US$9 million (NZD$13 million) spend on children’s content in 2017, on top of the US$1 million (NZD$1.5 million) it spent developing HEIHEI.
HEIHEI, which means commotion or chicken in the Maori language, was created following NZ On Air’s research and call for proposals on the need for a substantial investment in children’s public media. While funded by NZ On Air, the platform is managed and curated by TVNZ.