From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Pokémon franchise first reached New Zealand in late 1998 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the airing of the anime.
Pokémon video games
All Pokémon games that have been released in the United States have also been released in New Zealand, with the exception of the Pokémon mini. The country of origin for each game tends to differ depending on retailer availability; some games are imported from the US, but others are from the Australian release. The New Zealand release dates tend to be on or around the Australian release dates.
Games that are imported from the US are naturally inconsistent with New Zealand spelling rules. For example, spelling variations such as color and center are not changed to colour and centre for the New Zealand releases. Games sourced from Australia also have this problem, despite New Zealand English and Australian English being largely identical in terms of spelling rules.
Event Pokémon have been released in New Zealand sporadically. The recent introduction of Wi-Fi events has allowed New Zealand players access to many previously unavailable event Pokémon. Prior to this, very few event Pokémon were made available to New Zealand players, and when events at malls and other stores were held, many parts of the country were overlooked.
The English dub of the original series was first screened on TV2, a free-to-air television channel, in an early morning timeslot in 1998. It was shown on a daily basis. In 2000, it moved to an afternoon timeslot on rival station TV3, which aired reruns of Ash's first journey through the Kanto region and showed the first screenings of Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands. Broadcasting on TV3 ended with the final episode of Pokémon: Johto League Champions.
In 2003, Pokémon returned to TV2. The remainder of the Johto-based episodes were aired in the same after-school timeslot, with episodes five times a week. In 2005, Pokémon Chronicles was aired in an early morning timeslot on Sundays. This was followed by Pokémon: Advanced Challenge in the same weekly timeslot. Pokémon: Advanced Battle was then skipped with Pokémon: Battle Frontier aired in its place. After a brief period off the air, Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl was aired in the Sunday morning timeslot. In 2010, Pokémon: Battle Frontier was repeated on TV2 on weekday mornings with Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl repeats following it. Sinnoh League Victors began airing on weekday mornings in September 2011, while Pokémon: Black and White aired on Sunday mornings.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension and Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles have yet to show on free-to-air television in New Zealand, but is shown on a daily basis on Cartoon Network, which is broadcast on Sky Network Television, a pay-per-view network. Cartoon Network has shown episodes from every series of the anime.
Pokémon videos and DVDs have been available for several years.
Mewtwo Strikes Back, The Power of One and Spell of the Unown were screened in theatres, while Celebi: Voice of the Forest and Pokémon Heroes were released straight to video. Jirachi: Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys have not been released in New Zealand, however both have aired on TV2 multiple times. Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, The Rise of Darkrai, Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Arceus and the Jewel of Life and Zoroark: Master of Illusions have all been released on DVD. White—Victini and Zekrom/Black—Victini and Reshiram was released on DVD March 21, 2012, following a two-day limited release of White—Victini and Zekrom in theaters in February. With thanks to Hoyts, Bulbagarden was able to provide 10 free double passes to this screening.
New Zealand received most of the same Pokémon merchandise that is available in the United States, such as plush toys which were released in major department chains and given away in some fast food restaurants. Due to its decline in popularity, merchandise can be difficult to find in New Zealand stores, but can still be purchased online.
Pokémon DVDs and books (such as the Pokémon anime novelization series) have been widely available. Pokémon manga titles translated by Chuang Yi are distributed in New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. Pokémon manga is somewhat hard to find in New Zealand, but can be obtained in specialist shops.
The 2011 McDonald's promotional Pokémon toys were available in New Zealand in August 2011.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
The Pokémon Trading Card Game, although declining in popularity, is still being sold throughout New Zealand.
When first released, the game was very popular among New Zealand children. It was eventually banned in most schools, due to it being a "classroom distraction". Conflict between students regarding Trading Cards as well as perceived gambling issues resulted in the cards being banned from some schools. Its popularity faded out as it was replaced by other popular crazes such as Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.