Netsafe makes a splash for online safety with launch of ‘Hector’s World’ via Method

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Netsafe makes a splash for online safety with launch of ‘Hector’s World’ via Method

In response to growing concerns over New Zealand children’s online safety in the fast-evolving digital landscape, Netsafe has today unveiled a new, bi-lingual flagship programme Hector’s World, produced by Auckland-based creative studio Method, to bridge the current gap in online safety education for vulnerable children aged 5-10 years, their teachers, parents and caregivers.


Hector’s World covers topical issues such as cyberbullying, privacy, digital footprint and balancing online and offline time through a fun, animated series available in both English and te reo Māori, supported with educational materials to help children learn to navigate the online world safely.

The first three are freely available nationwide for parents, whānau and teachers, to support online safety conversations with 400,000+ tamariki across the motu.

Embracing the era of ‘binge-worthy’ edutainment, subsequent episodes will be released weekly throughout May. These episodes will be available on the Hector’s World website and a dedicated YouTube Channel, encouraging viewers to join Hector, a 9-year-old Hector’s dolphin, on his digital adventures.

Brent Carey, CEO of Netsafe, emphasised the programme’s importance as a fundamental digital resource for both homes and schools. With children engaging with screens from an early age, whether for video streaming, online games or educational purposes, Carey stressed that Hector’s World will be an indispensable tool for teaching safe surfing of the digital waves: “Parents and teachers are increasingly concerned about the impact of this on our young people, however our research shows up to 43% of parents do not actively monitor the content, platforms or activities, or friend circles of their children online and 9 to 11-year-olds aren’t sure about what kind of information should and shouldn’t be shared online.

“Waiting until a young person turns 13, the legal age limit of many social media accounts, is much too late for New Zealand tamariki who are grappling with an array of issues as a result of online activities, including negative behaviours, inappropriate online contact and troublesome friendships.”

“Hector’s World is a game changer for teaching good online rituals, early on.”

Designed to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy generation, Hector’s World bridges the gap between safety awareness and pure entertainment with highly relatable storylines and characters. The seven-episode series and associated resources follows the adventures of Hector and his crew of marine friends as they navigate the sometimes-tricky seas of the online world.

Sam Ramlu of Method stresses the importance for her team to create a series that had young viewers in mind right from the start: “We wanted Hector’s World to feel like any other, mainstream animation series. While our underlying messages were serious and crucial to communicate to children and their caregivers it was vital the series appealed to children. Too serious and preachy and kids would switch off, literally, so our goal was to create loveable and relatable characters that could deliver serious messages through down to earth conversations and humour.

“Not only do I believe we’ve achieved that but we’ve had a blast along the way. We are just so proud to be able to reimagine and deliver such an iconic series for today’s tamariki, especially since most of the team on this project have primary school age children. To be able to share the series and its messages with them has been very special.”

The series is supported by over 60 purpose-built resources and activities, including curriculum-aligned resources for teachers to use in the classroom, and whānau resources to help support the programme at home, with conversation guides and ‘top tips’ for parents and guardians.

It was through the support of Foundation Sponsors Microsoft New Zealand and the Ministry of Education, that the new Hector’s World was able to be realised.

The series features homegrown voiceover talent, who bring life to each character and reflect New Zealand’s diverse culture and expressions familiar to our tamariki.

Building on the legacy of its beloved predecessor, which captivated over a million people worldwide 15 years ago, the new Hector’s World series is a testament to its enduring success and much like the original, it is poised to hold a forever home in the hearts and minds of the next generation.

Visit: to view the series and resources

Online Safety Expertise and IP owner: Netsafe
Creative Partner: Method
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Samantha Ramlu
Motion Graphics/Art/Animation Lead: Lahiru De Silva
Scriptwriter: Louis Mendiola
Designer: Sophie Douglas
Character, Prop & Background Artist: Anastasiia Hryvtsova
Sound Design/Audio: James Dean, Akau Audio
Music/Jingle: Music with Michal
Tikanga Advisor: Amokura Panoho
Te Reo Translation: Kawiti Waetford
Editor/Compositor: Winsly Rathnasekera
Animation: Jagath Priyadarshana Aroshan Sudasinghe
VO Direction: Samantha Ramlu, Kawiti Waetford