Writer Erica Kent (née Molloy) began working in screen production having graduated Auckland University in 1999, and earned a certificate in Television Production at Avalon Film and Television School. Since then, her writing projects have ranged from children’s TV to the big screen, and crossed to magazines and fiction. Shows she has worked on include children’s television staples Suzy’s World and Sticky TV. In 2013 she wrote short film Hope’s War, the tale of a Kiwi teenager whose German ancestry causes him problems during WWll. Kent is also the creator, writer and co-producer of children’s series Maia the Brave.
The best thing about writing Maia the Brave has been its impact on kids and their parents. I’ve had people thank me because they never knew what to do if their child encountered a strange dog or had to go into hospital for surgery. To me, children’s telly is about giving kids a voice and learning while you laugh. Erica Kent
Sticky TV was one of New Zealand's longest-running kids programmes, lasting 16 years. Aimed at preschoolers through to 12-year-olds, it introduced many emerging presenters, including future TV weatherman Sam Wallace, Kanoa Llloyd (The Project) and Erin Simpson (The Erin Simpson Show). Made by Pickled Possum Productions, Sticky TV broadcast on TV3, except for four years when it aired on Four. Segments included children handing out advice to other kids, mud fights, and contests involving singing, cooking, fashion and survival. The last episode screened on Christmas Day 2017.
After fronting TV3 children's programmes Early Bird Show, 3pm and You and Me, Suzy Cato started her own company, Treehut Productions, to make Suzy's World. A science show for five to nine year olds, it sought to explain everyday phenomena like how smoke alarms work, why birds sing and where salt comes from. With the accent very much on the practical, pantyhose played an important part in simulating the workings of the digestive system while a watermelon was hurt demonstrating inertia and the need for seatbelts. Over four years 263 episodes were made.