It was some of the first home-grown animation to appear on Kiwi screens and provided an extra treat to kids who had already fought hard to stay up past their bedtime. Now it’s a Kiwi icon remembered through jewellery, clothing and homewares.
For those who don’t know, the Goodnight Kiwi was a broadcast in the days before 24-hour television to announce the end of the day’s broadcasting. It was the nightly routine from 1980 until it turned out the lights for the last time in October 1994.
The minute-long animation by Sam Harvey, showed a Kiwi and its cat shutting down the TV station and putting the milk bottle out before heading up to a satellite dish to tuck themselves into bed. The tune of the Maori lullaby ‘Hine e hine’ plays throughout.
It was an odd paring between a kiwi and its mortal enemy a cat, but that didn’t stop it engraining itself into Kiwi culture.
After 14 years of putting the country to bed, the kiwi had a well-earned break, but returned to the screen in 2007 on TVNZ 6 and in 2012 to close TVNZ at midnight on 30 June when the channel converted to TV One Plus 1. He was then brought back in 2008 on TV One to wish Kiwis a merry Christmas and a good summer. Shown decorating a tree, and lounging in his satellite turned pool, the kiwi just as he was, though with better graphics.
But it’s not just the better graphic treatment the kiwi has undergone. Being named as a kiwi icon has seen him get a hip-hop makeover, and an updated edit of his video to better suit the modern TVNZ.
He and his cat also made an appearance in a Tasti ad in 2012, alongside other Kiwi classics, like a Manu Doll and The Longest Drink in Town milkshake.
Image from Tasti.
Off the screen, the kiwi has been recreated in the form of jewellery, t-shirts and homewares.
At Silverfernz, a full range of jewellery can be purchased including a $299 pendant of the Kiwi and cat, and a $329 charm bracelet.
The kiwi and cat also make an appearance on earrings, charms, phone charms and cufflinks. Even the milk bottle, TV and satellite dish proved worthy of being recreated in silver.
Images from Silverfernz.
If around your neck or in your ears isn’t how you want to remember the Goodnight Kiwi, you can show your love on a t-shirt.
Image from Redbubble.
As well as wearing it, the Goodnight Kiwi can be enjoyed with the morning coffee.
Image from Redbubble.
Or enjoyed on a sticker.
Image from Trade Me.
Even those too young to remember the Goodnight Kiwi and its cat can have a piece of history in their rooms.