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Pipi Mā: world famous in New Zealand (image: supplied).
Pipi Mā: world famous in New Zealand (image: supplied).

PartnersOctober 1, 2018

The best Freeview TV for the school holidays

Pipi Mā: world famous in New Zealand (image: supplied).
Pipi Mā: world famous in New Zealand (image: supplied).

Keeping kids entertained during the holidays just became a lot easier, thanks to the new and improved Freeview On Demand. Tara Ward explores some of their best shows for children.

With the spring rain an almost certainty, Freeview is the answer to every frazzled parents school holiday nightmares. The new on-demand platform combines all the TV shows from free-to-air channels like TVNZ, Three and Māori TV, meaning that all your children’s favourite programmes are now together in a single place. It’s an easy to use, one-stop shop of on-demand television that should make entertaining kids over the next fortnight a breeze.  

No longer will we have to endure two weeks of the same My Little Pony episode on repeat. From Fanimals to Dora Mātātoa to Waiata Mai, Freeview On Demand features a huge choice of shows that will appeal to children of all ages and attention spans. There’s movies and dramas, educational programmes and cartoons, plus a whole lot of great Kiwi content. It’s also easy for kids to discover new shows, either by browsing the ‘Kids’ category or by scrolling through individual channels.

Whether your family is looking for entertainment or education these holidays, Freeview have you sorted. Let’s discover some of the jewels in the Freeview On Demand school holiday crown.  

Wilde Ride


New Zealand made from young adults (Image: supplied).

This New Zealand drama follows teenager Georgia Grady, a promising equestrian who moves in with her extended family after her parents are killed in a car accident. Georgia struggles to adjust to her new life in West Auckland with her aunt, uncle and dirt-bike mad cousins, while still grieving for her parents. It’s a beautifully made series that will appeal to tweens and young adults.

Pipi Mā

(Māori Television)

Pipi Mā became famous as the world’s first Māori speaking dolls, and now there’s a TV series aimed at young tamariki. Pipi Mā is a delightful watch that follows the adventures of four best friends – Pipi, Hura, Pitau Potiki and Titoki – as they discover the world around them.  

Pipi Mā is proudly 100% te reo Māori, and there’s the option of watching with English subtitles. Kids will love the waiata and music of Pipi Mā, and with each episode only a few minutes long, this is the perfect quick fix for a rainy afternoon.  

Darwin and Newts

Enjoy the multimedia experience of Darwin and Newts (Image: supplied).


Darwin and Newts is an animated adventure series that celebrates children’s curiosity and imagination. Siblings Darwin and Newts spend their days figuring out how things work and building crazy inventions in their treehouse, which often don’t work out as planned. Darwin and Newts is a funny show filled with adventure, science and discovery, and there’s also a fantastic website and app for kids.

David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape and Ratburger


Ratburger, the movie version of the best selling novel by David Williams (Image: supplied)

Each of these movies is based on the books by best-selling writer, actor, and golden-buzzer presser David Walliams. Grandpa’s Great Escape stars Tom Courtenay and Jennifer Saunders and follows a boy who tries to help his WW2 flying ace grandad escape his old folks home, while in Ratburger Zoe needs to save her pet rat from the greasy clutches of an evil chef. They’re films with as much heart as humour, and will appeal to children aged eight and up.

Tākaro Tribe

(Māori Television & TVNZ)

Another delightful New Zealand animated series, this time about a whanau of magical patupaiarehe (woodland fairies) who live in the Woa Arapū (alphabet forest). A, E, I, O and U learn about the alphabet, colours and animals with the help of their wise friends Pāpā Rākau and Kōkā. Tākaro Tribe features catchy music and colourful animation and is available in both te reo Māori and English language versions.  

(Image: supplied).

Dr Lisa to the Rescue


Emergency vet Lisa Chimes matches abandoned pets from animal shelters with families looking to adopt. It’s like Lost and Found for canines, and this feel-good series about the power of animals to bring happiness into people’s lives will be a hit with older children.  

This content was brought to you by Freeview.

Freeview On Demand is supported on new Smart TVs, connected boxes and recorders. Call 0800 FREEVIEW or visit for more information.

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