Action Central

NZ On Air has just announced funding of $2.8 million for four children’s programmes for broadcast on TV2 and TV3.

“Funding has been allocated for a second series of the animated children’s comedy series Staines Down Drains, which has proved to be a hit with younger viewers,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson, “We are also introducing three great new series.”

“Activate is a frantic, messy, cooking gameshow for young people, to help them think more about the foods they eat and the exercise they get,” said Ms Wrightson. “As obesity continues to be a problem for New Zealanders, this show is particularly timely – and it’s fun!” Â

In a similar vein funding has been approved for a series for pre-schoolers that is designed to get them up and moving. Action Central mixes a live presenter with a range of animated images to encourage the younger ones to join in. The concept has been tried on a test audience, with significant success.

“The children in the test audience quickly warmed to the presenter’s tone and lively actions, and were soon off the floor and joining in the fun,” Ms Wrightson said.

Funding has also been allocated to Bryan and Bobby, a series featuring Constable Bryan Ward, and Bobby his real-life police dog.

“This is a lovely series that teaches primary school-age children positive safety messages about security at home, peer pressure and sharing, among other things,” said Ms Wrightson. “It’s backed up with a website and also features visits from New Zealand sporting and television celebrities who are positive role models for younger New Zealanders.

“With these series, we’ve managed to provide something for a wide range of ages, and programmes that entertain, educate and deal with serious issues in a fun, approachable way.

“NZ On Air’s research continues to confirm the importance of locally produced children’s programmes to New Zealanders,” Ms Wrightson said, “and these projects are just the sort of innovative initiatives that meet those audience’s needs.”