In February 2020 the Covid-19 crisis spread to New Zealand shores and affected our nation in a significant way physically, socially and economically. The Covid-19 Alert system was introduced on 21 March 2020 placing NZ at Alert Level 2. On 25 March 2020 New Zealand was moved to Alert Level 4. 

The economic and physical limitations of Covid-19 on NZ during the Alert Levels meant that Cool Bananas needed to make a shift in how we operated.

Traditionally a substantial portion of Cool Bananas operations involved programs designed for large group situations but under the health and safety restrictions during Alert Level 1 to 4 these were unable to be continued.

As a result of this our large group programs and any work towards them were put on hold in April 2020 for an indefinite period of time. 


Here is the list of the large group programs that are currently on hold:

    • Onsite Large group Presentations in Schools - A weekly half hour values program full of creative elements with a team of two trained presenters taking place in primary schools throughout the Tauranga region. 
    • Adventure camp - A week long stay over camp including daily camp gatherings with creative teaching and lots of outdoor activities. Held at Finlay Park, Matamata for 8-11 year olds each October school holidays. 
    • Christmas Shows - A 45 minute end of year show telling the Nativity story in a uniquely creative way that involves kids at each school we perform at as a part of the cast. This show travels to churches as well and over 10,000 people see it by the end of it’s 5 week run.
    • Yooth Camp - A weekend overnight stay leadership camp for Year 7 and 8’s to encourage self leadership and how they can lead others.  This is a helpful transition from being an adventure camper to a junior leader at the October camp.


Having these programs on pause gave us opportunity to put our focus into the areas of Cool Bananas that could grow and continue to make an impact within all levels of the Covid-19 Alert System.

So within the weeks of Alert Level 4 & Alert Level 3 Cool Bananas developed and strengthened Blello, our video based digital environment that was launched for children in 2015. 


How Blello was developed:

  • Increased from producing 1 video per fortnight to 5 lesson videos per week.
  • Addition of weekly LIVE interactive online sessions for classroom and home environments (during levels 3 & 4)
  • Addition of discussion tools and worksheet resources available for all video lessons.
  • Increase of website infrastructure to make new content and resources easily accessible.


Current Digital resources available:


Values based video resources and supplementary materials for teachers and parents to engage with their students and kids.


Free monthly valuetainment videos for kids

16 25min episodes of The Blello Show per year.


Other Platforms you can find our resources:

Shine TV / Shine On Demand

Blello is the umbrella brand for Shine TVs children programming, as well as broadcasting our videos on their channel.


A partner site that uploads our content and is used by over 300 schools across NZ.


Blello operates it’s own youtube channel where we upload exciting challenge videos for tweens.


If you would like to know more about our response to Covid-19 or learn more about Cool Bananas and our programs contact us. 

We look forward to continuing to create great resources that inspire kids to excel in life as we navigate these tough times together.

The Cool Bananas Team.