New digital story for Bullying-Free NZ Week

A new digital story that aims to teach children about kindness is another step in helping to combat bullying, says Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin.

Minister Martin today launched an interactive bilingual story, Oat the Goat or Oti te Nanekoti, at Thorndon School in Wellington.  The story is aimed at children aged 4-7, and highlights the importance of being kind to one another.

“The Government is working towards a New Zealand where all Kiwis feel safe and respected – regardless of their age, sex, gender identity, ability, or cultural background,” says Minister Martin.

“Bullying affects children’s health and wellbeing and contributes to poor education and life outcomes. Tackling it as early as possible is the most effective way to limit its damaging impacts.”

The digital story is one of a number of bullying prevention initiatives aimed at children in Bullying-Free NZ Week. The Ministry of Education supports schools with resources via the bullyingfree.nz website and a Bullying-Free NZ School Toolkit, including a pack for parents, a guide for Boards of Trustees, training modules for staff, and a series of interactive classroom posters.

“This is another resource parents and teachers can use to talk to their children about bullying,” Tracey Martin says. “It’s cute and presented in an animated way which will appeal to children.”

 A New Zealand story, it includes native New Zealand scenery and bird song, and has been narrated by well-known New Zealanders - David Fane and Piripi Taylor. Oat the Goat features the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and composer Tane Upjohn-Beatson.   

 It will be available in Early Childhood Education Centres, Primary Schools and to parents, caregivers and teachers. 

 Media contact: Richard Ninness 021 892 536

 Note to Editors:

 You can read Oat the Goat here: www.oatthegoat.co.nz.

 You can read Oti te Nanekoti here: www.otitenanekoti.co.nz.

 Bullying-Free New Zealand is an initiative of the cross-sector Bullying Prevention Advisory Group and runs from May 14-18.

 The Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, a collaboration of 18 organisations committed to reducing bullying in NZ schools, includes representatives from across the education, social, justice and health sectors, as well as Netsafe and human rights advocacy groups.

 ENDS