16 November 2001
Kids do count in New Zealand, and the latest NZ On Air funding round has proven that to the tune of $11 million.
Children’s television programming has been given a major funding boost with more than $11 million invested into a variety of programmes for children and youth which make up nearly a quarter of NZ On Air’s annual television budget.
NZ On Air chief executive, Jo Tyndall, said it was important to provide New Zealand children with youth-targeted New Zealand-made programming as a part of their TV diet.
“Recent reports in the media talk of risks to children’s well-being through watching too much and inappropriate television shows. Monitoring children’s viewing time and the quality of programme they watch is therefore very important,” said Ms Tyndall.
“Locally-made programmes are much more relevant to children than programmes from overseas, and children can relate to them more easily as they see their own stories and their own culture."
Research conducted last year into children's programming revealed that for many young people "real" programmes are overseas’ programmes. As a result of this research, NZ On Air announced new funding priorities intended to encourage the production of quality children's programmes designed specifically for the needs of New Zealand children.
Among other things, the priorities mention the need to provide positive role models for girls and boys; in particular Maori and Pacific Island boys and girls. Funding programmes where children are active participants as well as programmes that encourage creativity and deliver education in palatable forms, are all priorities.
“Our most recent public opinion monitor has backed our initial research from 2000, and more than 80% of people surveyed say it’s important for NZ On Air to fund children’s programming.
“I’m very pleased to see that broadcasters and producers have responded to the research and strategy recommendations from NZ On Air. The benefits are clearly seen in this funding round, with an increase in variety and choice for children,” Ms Tyndall said.
The 15 projects funded will ensure there is something for every child from pre-schooler to teenager, with magazine style shows, educational programmes, talent quests, quiz shows, animation shorts, music, arts and more.
Children’s programmes funded in the latest funding round include:
- What Now?/WNTV - The Machine
- Smokefree Stage Challenge - Mai Time 2002
- Mai Time Pasifika Beats - Smokefree Rockquest
- Party Animals - Squirt 2002
- Buzz & Poppy - Sticky TV
- Suzy’s World IV - Animation Station
- Wannabes - The Dress Up Box III