The newest MILKYBAR Kid, Hinetaapora Short, is about to enter the hearts (and lounges) of Kiwis, as the latest version of one of our most iconic TV campaigns goes to air.
Last November, the search was finally over for one of New Zealand’s most well known young characters – the MILKYBAR KID – and 8-year-old Hinetaapora Short from Rotorua was announced as the winner to fill those famous boots.

The new TVC, filmed in March and set to screen for the first time on the night of Sunday May 22, features the MILKYBAR Kid entering an imaginary world through a storybook, where the age-old battle of good versus evil ensues.

The new commercial still features the traditional “Wild West” theme, but interwoven with other adventures and updated to reflect the new modern era of the MILKYBAR Kid. There are also moments of nostalgia between Hinetaapora and her on-screen mum (Ingrid Parker from Go Girls) as she reflects on the original story of the MILKYBAR Kid when she was a girl.

“Hinetaapora is fantastic,” says MILKYBAR spokesman Jeremy Boucher. “With her help, we’ve made a really wonderful new MILKYBAR commercial that still carries on all the traditional MILKYBAR themes, but in a way that embodies the new, 21st century MILKYBAR Kid. We hope that it will appeal to everyone in New Zealand who loves MILKYBAR.”

To top off her success, Hinetaapora is carrying on the Kiwi tradition of revolutionary women and female-firsts: never before in the world has the MILKYBAR Kid been a girl, making this an extra-special achievement for the Rotorua youngster.

Hinetaapora attends Maori school Te Kura O Tekoutu and is bilingual – Maori is her first language. Her favourite subjects at school are Spanish and singing, and when she grows up she’d “like to be famous”.

Last year, parents and guardians filmed audition videos of their children using a script from the MILKYBAR website and uploaded the footage for their chance to fill the iconic boots of this much-loved character. Public auditions were also held at branches of The Warehouse, New World and Pak’N’Save stores nationwide. Over 1500 entries were whittled down to a Top Ten that featured six girls and four boys from all over the country.

The public saw all the Finalists on Good Morning, in magazines, and on the MILKYBAR website, and then voted at for the Finalist they thought would be the best New Zealand MILKYBAR Kid. A panel of judges then picked Hinetaapora as the ultimate winner, but as she also had the highest percentage of over 11,000 total votes received, it was not a difficult choice to make.

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