Frequently asked questions for parents, whānau and teachers for Oat the Goat.

On this page:

What’s the best way for me and my child to experience the story?

You can experience the story in te reo Māori (external link)and/or English(external link).

Once you’ve picked your language, you can then choose to experience it in one of three ways – you can read it yourself, have it read to you, or simply watch it right through. Click on your preferred option and enjoy!

We’d encourage you to try the “Read it to me” option when you first read the book, so that you can help your child make sense of the story and talk to them about what they learned. Then, you can experiment with different options such as the “Watch” option.

What age group was the story designed for?

Oat the Goat is for children aged 4-7 years old, however it may also suit children in other age groups. It’s designed for children to read or watch it with their parents or caregivers but children may also like to read it with their siblings, aunties and uncles, grandparents or extended family and whānau.

We encourage parents to read it with their kids repeatedly to help children learn the power of kindness.

How do I turn the page?

When you finish a section of the book a flashing round icon will appear on the page. Touch this (or encourage your child to) and you’ll hear a ‘ding’ and the page will turn.

I’m having trouble moving between the chapter’s scenes, what do I do?

Press the flashing round icon to nudge the characters along on their journey and move through the story book.

How do I skip to a later part of the story?

Click on the ‘red ribbon’ hamburger menu icon at the top right hand side of the book and the Chapters page will pop up. Then, you can select what part of the story you want to skip to.

The story book is not playing on my device, what’s wrong?

We’ve designed Oat the Goat to be accessible on most devices but we also know that some internet connections can be a bit dodgy. If you’re having trouble it might be because you are using an older device that has low-memory or low-graphics capability. Please also check your wifi and data connection too.

It could also be slow because heaps of people are watching Oat the Goat. We have designed Oat the Goat to cope with large amounts of traffic so if you keep experiencing problems then here’s some tips around what set-up will make it play better.

Make sure that you’re using the current major version of your browser or the previous version. The site will run on any device that supports WebGL.

If that still doesn’t work, then you can watch it on YouTube in English(external link) or te reo Māori(external link).

I can’t ‘full-screen’ Oat the Goat on my iPhone, what’s wrong?

Are you playing the story through Internet Explorer? If so, switch your browser to Google Chrome. This should make the bottom bar disappear on your screen, so you can clearly read the words and see the pictures.

How can I help my child make sense of the messages in the story?

The main thing is that Oat the Goat helps you talk to your child about positive ways to get along with other children. Being kind is a great way to make friends and help other children out of a sticky situation, if they are getting picked on. It’s also important that your child makes sense of the story first.

Here are some prompts that you might like to use to start the conversation with your child:

  • Were there any parts of the story that didn’t make sense?
  • Have you ever seen someone being picked on – just like Oat the Goat saw happen in the book? What was that like for you? Let’s talk about it…
  • What did Oat the Goat realise was the best thing to do when he saw someone being bullied?
  • What do you think is the best thing for you to do when you see someone being bullied?

What can I do as a parent to help my child remember the messages in the story?

A good way to reinforce what your child has learned about being kind is to model that very behaviour. Also, tell your children that being kind and compassionate to someone who is being picked on is a good thing to do. They could say:

English Te reo Māori  

Are you okay?

Come and play

Kei te pai koe?

Haere mai ki te tākaro

Other positive words that children can use are:

English Te reo Māori  

I'm kind

Be cool, be kind

Kindness wins in the end

Aroha mai, aroha atu

Kia pai, kia ngākau atawhai

Ko te ngākau atawhai ka toitū

Who made the story?

The Ministry of Education with the help of some friends.

Who interpreted the story into te reo Māori?

The story book was interpreted into te reo Māori by Kororia Taumaunu, who is a licensed translator and interpreter of te reo Māori.

Who narrated the story book?

The narrator of the English version is David Fane. The narrator of the te reo Māori version is Piripi Taylor.

Who did the music?

Composer - Tane Upjohn-Beatson

Music performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Recorded at the Michael Fowler Centre

Conductor & Orchestrator – Hamish McKeich

Recording & Mix engineer - Graham Kennedy, Radio New Zealand

Taonga Pūoro - Alistair Fraser. Recorded at Massey University

What are those cool sounds in the story?

The music score features the full instrumentation of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra including a harp and celeste. Awesome!

There’s also a range of traditional Māori instruments, taonga pūoro.

Forest scene:

Karanga Manu (bird call)

Karanga Weka (weka call)

Poiawhiowhio (whirler, mimics kereru) - two sizes


Pahu Pakohe (ringing pakohe stone)

Kakara (dog rattle - made from albatross bone)

Hue Puruhau (gourd)

Koauau - various materials

Pumotomoto - birthing flute



Mountain top:


Putorino, te kokiri a te tane (putorino, trumpet voice)

How did you choose the characters?

The characters were developed and chosen to support the storyline, the bullying-prevention theme, and New Zealand.

A goat was chosen as the main character, as an animal most likely to journey to the top of a mountain, and he represents New Zealand’s pioneering spirit and is reminiscent of historical figures such as Sir Edmund Hillary.

Sheep were chosen as bullying characters to represent a ‘mob mentality’ that is often associated with bystanders to bullying, and needed to be animated as both woolly and shorn to support the storyline.

Amos is a character specially developed to be of the land and the glow worm was chosen as it is indigenous to New Zealand.

What mountain is featured in the story?

The mountain in Oat the Goat is fictional, however all the landscapes in the story were very much inspired by Aotearoa New Zealand. Oat the Goat was crafted to ensure it captures the feel of the varied New Zealand landscape – lush forest, tussocked foothills, snowy alpine areas, a big mountain and a cave.

Why did you make a digital story book?

Research shows that when students read works of fiction that reflect the diversity they will encounter in their daily lives, they are less likely to bully those that are different from them. Books allow students to understand someone else’s circumstances and empathise with those that come from another country, or don’t have the same physical abilities as them, for example. Reading also allows children, in a way, to rehearse for situations in which they might feel fear or be tempted to make fun of someone.

How can you support me and my child if they experience bullying?

We have developed some helpful information for you. Click on the ‘red ribbon’ hamburger menu sign at the top right hand side of the book and go to “Parents Info”. This includes some tips about how to engage with your child through the story Oat the Goat plus some other links to more information if you need more support.

For more info and help...

...visit the Need Help Now? section on this website. 

Where else can I find Oat the Goat?

Oat the Goat is available online for FREE. It is accessible 24/7 and can be accessed on your desktop computer or any mobile device – basically anywhere you have access to data or wifi.

It’s also downloadable as a PDF file through the website. The PDF can be printed off at your home or school. To find it, go to the ‘red ribbon’ hamburger menu icon at the top right hand side of the book, then click on ‘Reading Options’ and click on the ‘Download as pdf’ button. This will allow you to print it off.

A “Watch” version of the story is also available on YouTube in YouTube in English(external link) or te reo Māori(external link)..

Where did my child get the Oat the Goat sticker from?

We sent Oat the Goat stickers to all children aged 4-7 years in New Zealand - to their primary schools, Kura Kaupapa, early learning providers, and Te Kōhanga Reo. We also sent posters and a classroom learning experience so your child could experience Oat the Goat in their classroom, as part of Bullying-Free NZ Week. We hope you child loves their sticker!

How do I get more stickers or find other Oat the Goat activities?

We’re all out of stickers, sorry, but we do have some other fun activities for your child to enjoy, such as colouring in pages of all of the characters – Oat, Amos, sheep, green glow worm and blue glow worm.

Are there stories for children of other ages?

At this stage we have one Oat the Goat story for children aged 4-7 years old.

However there’s heaps more info in the Bullying-Free NZ guide for parents and whānau.

What will my child learn from the story?

Oat the Goat may help children learn what kindness looks like, how it feels, its effect and the power of kindness. It’s designed as a pick-a-path story, so at certain points in the story your child has to help Oat make a decision about which action to take. By taking the action, children get to see what the consequences of that action is. It’s a safe learning environment where they can ‘try on’ different behaviours. We hope Oat the Goat can help children learn the power of kindness.

I always thought that I was meant to teach children to ‘stand up’ to bullies so why is this not the ‘right choice’ for Oat the Goat in the story?

The most important thing is that your child is safe. Standing up to a bully might lead to a harmful situation for your child. Younger children who are still learning how to get on with each other may not have the skills or confidence to stand up in a safe and effective way. They might try and tell off the bully, call back names, or think they should ‘fight back’. That’s why the best choice for a child (aged 4-7 years) to make when experiencing a bullying situation is to be kind to the person being picked on, rather than focus on the behaviour of the bully. In this way they are showing that bullying is not OK. They can also go and tell an adult.

As children get older, standing up to a bully can be a positive experience. If they feel safe to do so, they could say ‘Stop. It’s not OK to do that’ and they can tell an adult.

What is Bullying-Free NZ Week all about?

The digital book Oat the Goat is one of a number of bullying prevention initiatives aimed at school-aged children.

The Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG), of which the Ministry of Education is a member, supports schools with a number of resources on this website, including for schools, students and parents and whānau. Bullying-Free NZ Week is an annual event to get schools and their communities talking about bullying prevention. 

We encourage schools and boards to use the free wellbeing at school student survey to find out what is happening for students and how students at their school really feel and then put an action plan in place using the tools most appropriate for their community. More information can be found at https://www.wellbeingatschool.org.nz/(external link)

How do I contact someone about Oat the Goat?

Email: oat.thegoat@education.govt.nz