Kids’ TV show showcases the small town of Taranaki and its local talents

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The children's TV show The Feijoa Club was filmed in Hāwera.

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The children’s TV show The Feijoa Club was filmed in Hāwera.

A children’s TV show filmed in southern Taranaki showcases local talent and small town life.

Club Feijoa is a six-part series about a young girl called Perry who moves from a big town to a small town in Taranaki and befriends some kids who have a club where they eat feijoas and solve little mysteries.

Writer and director Kerry Warkia said the inspiration for the show, which is available online, came after she realized many kids liked Disney Channel shows that were easy to watch.

“We wanted to create something that had its roots in New Zealand but had this kind of simple format so easy for kids to digest and consume,” she said.

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Warkia and her family had also moved from Auckland to Hāwera and had watched their children go from life in a big city to life in a small town.

“We were watching the transition of our own children and that fueled that idea,” she said.

They wrote and presented the show in 2017 and received funding in September 2018. The show was filmed at Hāwera High School and aired on the HEIHEI children’s streaming platform in June.

On the show, Perry has two fathers and Warika said she wanted to reflect the fact that families can come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

“We definitely had both fathers in there from the start and we knew that was the makeup of his whānau.”

Kiki McNaughton, who plays Perry, said playing with kids her age and filming at her current high school was a cool experience and that she looked like Perry in some ways.

“Some parts of Perry that I can relate to and some parts weren’t very difficult, but I had to try to figure out who the character was.”

Warkia said that while she didn’t have figures on how many viewers the show had attracted, she believed it had been well received.

“The main gripe is that there aren’t enough episodes so I think that’s a good problem to have.”


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