Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have welcomed the announcement of a safe, interactive ad-free space for primary school age children to explore and enjoy online local media content.
The new media initiative is a collaboration between NZ On Air and TVNZ. The interactive curated website will be run by a newly formed team at TVNZ, utilising the company’s expertise and technology.
Communications Minister Simon Bridges says it is a first for New Zealand and is possible thanks to the Government’s extensive roll-out of communications infrastructure.
“The roll-out of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) is making internet more accessible to New Zealanders of all ages with more than 1.1 million households now able to connect. This project will ensure there is quality local content readily available to children in a safe online environment,” Mr Bridges says.
“This project is also a great example of convergence, known as the reduction in barriers between sectors, and shows the new opportunities businesses and consumers alike can gain from the greater choice and accessibility it affords,” Mr Bridges says.
Minister Barry says NZ On Air will invest $1.5m in the site, targeted at 5-9 year olds.
“New Zealand children need to see and hear themselves and their own accents in the media they consume. This project will ensure our culture is alive and well in screen content for our youngest viewers,” Ms Barry says.
“The site will be designed for children and they will be involved at every stage from development through to when it’s ready to go live. It will be easy to navigate and be commercial free with a huge range of content.”
“NZ On Air will commission content through its September funding round and is about to start working with children’s content producers on ideas for new material.”
It is expected to go live around March 2018.