HEIHEI, the ad-free streaming platform aimed at Kiwi kids launches: 'a safe, online place where they can see themselves'

A new Kiwi ad-free platform hosting local programming for children has been launched today.

HEIHEI is a platform starring, and aimed at, New Zealand kids with brand new cartoons and programmes - and some familiar ones.

New Zealand on Air has invested $14 million into the project - a joint venture with TVNZ which is being hosted online and through Apple and android apps.

Clare Curran, the Broadcasting and Digital Media Minister, says Kiwi kids have "nothing that mirrors their stories - that puts a sense of value in their stories".

"Having a platform that's dedicated to children with mostly New Zealand content on it is a huge step forward in New Zealand," Ms Curran said.

Miriam Dean, the New Zealand on Air chair, says the company's vision is about "reflecting and connecting our nation".

"We need to reflect and connect our kids, and so our children need a safe, online place where they can see themselves, they can hear themselves," Ms Dean said.

Ninety-one per cent of Kiwi kids have up to an hour of screen time each day between internet, television and TVNZ On Demand, and more than half spend over an hour.

Ninety per cent of parents say they want to see more New Zealand content for children.

Research has found that the most popular media platforms for New Zealand children are no longer traditional ones like television, but YouTube.

A lot of the online giant's content is international, creating a major impact on the way children behave and communicate.

"Our children are growing up with American accents because they watch American cartoon series," Ms Curran said.

Judge Andrew Becroft, the Children's Commissioner, says it's important to encourage and grow a "distinctive Aotearoa culture" on Kiwi TV screens.

"All we know about wellbeing of our children and their views is that values are important, and one of them is being connected to their culture," Mr Becroft said.

"I think it's great to have something that's distinctly New Zealand that brings an Aotearoa flavour in it; that our kids aren't growing up with an ad-laden TV environment with American accents."

Through cartoons, cooking, pet and puppet shows, HEIHEI aims to give Kiwi children a chance to see themselves, and their own language, on screen.

HEIHEI is available as an iOS app and Android app, or head to heihei.nz.

TVNZ and NZ On Air are today celebrating the launch of their band new children’s media platform Source: 1 NEWS

One dead in two-car crash in South Auckland

A two-car crash has left one person dead in South Auckland tonight.

Emergency services were called to the two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Massey and Bucklands Roads, in the suburb of Mangere East, about 6pm.

Police said at a statement one person has died at the scene.

At this stage there is no information available on other injuries.

The road is closed and diversions will be put in place.

The Serious Crash Unit has been advised.

Police car night generic
Police car (File picture). Source: 1 NEWS


Jacinda Ardern's candid interview on impending motherhood - 'focused on getting through the actual birth'

The Prime Minister will make history when she gives birth next month but Jacinda Ardern admits she and partner Clarke Gayford have yet to figure out exactly how they will handle all the attention.

In a candid interview with 1 NEWS, Jacinda Ardern said she is very mindful of the high level of public interest in the new arrival but has a lot of other baby-related details on her mind.

"I'm sure everyone will forgive me for being a little more focused on getting through the actual birth," she said.

"But probably doing basic things like getting a car seat are probably a bit more of focus at the moment."

The 37-year-old will become the first New Zealand Prime Minister, and only the second leader in world politics, to give birth in office.

Ms Ardern said she and Mr Gayford are starting to think about how best to balance public interest with their family privacy.

She indicated that it is unlikely she would commit to exclusive magazine-style stories with her baby.

"I'm the one who's put myself into politics, so I'm the one that really should be wearing that front-facing role," Ms Ardern said.

"I try to minimise that [media exposure] for my wider family and that's the kind of wider thinking we'll be doing over the next wee while."

Public relations consultant Deborah Pead says the new parents could look at adopting an approach pioneered by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who release their own family photos.

"Kate and William have really set a new benchmark," Ms Pead said.

"They've managed to do it in a way where media and the public still feel satisfied but they've also managed to maintain their privacy."

A number of legal experts have told 1 NEWS that Ms Ardern's baby is entitled to privacy but say what constitutes a breach of privacy in a public place is currently 'open to interpretation.'

The Prime Minister is confident she and Mr Gayford will figure out how best to balance public interest with privacy.

She plans to be a 'hands-on' working mum and says that means the family will travel together a great deal.

"The fact that I will be quite active and hands-on means that we will be moving around as a family a lot together," Ms Ardern said.

"But we'll manage it and probably the people of New Zealand will help us manage it, too."

In the meantime, Ms Ardern plans to maintain her demanding schedule until her due date in mid-June.

Just weeks out form the birth of her first child, the PM has sat down to discuss how she will manage public interest, privacy and parenthood. Source: 1 NEWS

Jacinda Ardern spoke to 1 NEWS about how she will deal with the public scrutiny as a new mother. Source: 1 NEWS