Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Goodnight Kiwi was a character in an animated short used to signal the end of the nightly broadcast on Television New Zealand channels, from 1981. It last aired in New Zealand on October 19, 1994 on TV2.
The Goodnight Kiwi's companion was simply called 'The Cat'.
The one minute long animation begins with Goodnight Kiwi and the Cat in the Master Control room. Kiwi shuts down the screens, and starts an audio cassette playing an instrumental arrangement of traditional Māori song, Hine e Hine. Kiwi walks through the studio while Cat jumps and pulls faces into a camera. Kiwi turns out the lights, puts a milk bottle on the porch and locks the door. The two climb steps to the roof, and ride an elevator to the top of a transmission mast. At the top, Kiwi goes to sleep in a satellite dish with the Cat sitting on his stomach. The short closes with the words: "Goodnight from TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND."
An alternate version of the Goodnight Kiwi clip was used by South Pacific Television between 1975 and 1980 and saw the Goodnight Kiwi and his companion living in a television camera. At the end of the clip, the kiwi would close the side flaps on the camera and then the South Pacific Television logo would appear as the music faded out.
During transmission breakdowns, a still picture of the Goodnight Kiwi was often used, in poses including one of sweeping the floor and accidentally pulling out a power cord.
The characters are regarded as part of New Zealand broadcasting culture.
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