The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


The Eggplant is back!

New Zealand’s favourite vegetable-based drama-crime-comedy-online-web-series is back with a new episode, this time tackling misinformation.

Misinformation online can be camouflaged to make it hard to tell what is real and what is not. This is a big issue for our rangatahi, especially with the country being in lockdown and young people spending more time online as a result, says Trina Lowry from Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.

“Many young people find it challenging to tell fact from fiction online or don’t know how to check the accuracy of information,” says Trina.

“This can have consequences in the real world and can lead to young people making decisions that aren’t based on reliable information.”

The episode is part of The Eggplant online mini-series designed to help 13-18 year olds navigate the harms and issues they encounter online. Past episodes have dealt with bullying, pornography, grooming and requests for nude photos.

“We need a public awareness campaign like this as the nature and type of online harms are dynamic and evolving quickly,” Trina says.

“Not everyone will get the eggplant reference, and that’s okay. Young people get it, and the mini-series was developed with them and for them.”

All our favourites are back in the new episode, including Principal Morris played by national treasure Karen O’Leary, but this time they’re trying to find out ‘the truth’ behind the giant papier mache eggplant on the rugby pitch.

The new episode launches on 10 September 2021 on TVNZ OnDemand and YouTube.

The series is produced by creative agency Motion Sickness for Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs. Helping keep young people safe online is one of the ways the Department ensures iwi, hâpu and communities across New Zealand are safe, resilient and thriving.

Ngâ mihi

Media Team

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 | email:
The full media release with answered QnA is available