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The New Zealand Herald (edited by Shayne Currie) has been judged Newspaper of the Year at the annual Pacific Area Newspapers Publishers’ Association awards.

And NZ Herald investigations editor Jared Savage was named Best Young Executive Under 35.

Kiwi outlets keeping the Herald company at the Sydney-based awards were The Rotorua Daily Post, North Shore Times,, the Gisborne Herald, and the Otago Daily Times. And Fairfax Media NZ picked up two major photography prizes.

The NZ Herald was up against the leading metropolitan newspapers in Australia and was the only New Zealand title to be shortlisted for the award.

In declaring the Herald the best of the best, the Panpa judges said: “Across all sections, the New Zealand Herald excels, with  bright, engaging treatment.

“It fearlessly stands up when needed on major issues, but still knows how to have fun.  It is a compulsive read – both in print and online. The paper says its mission is to advocate, inform and entertain. It succeeds – in spades.”

The judges said this year’s entries were of an exceptional standard. “In many ways the variety of emphasis and style and approach to stories to cover shows the diversity of media choice across the region. Each title has articulated aggressive and comprehensive digital and business strategies as well as taking great pride in their print editions.

“It remains clear that across the board, print newspapers and their journalism continue to set the social and political agenda. The New Zealand Herald is absolutely a benchmark for this. Its balance of content is of a high quality publication and it’s importance to New Zealand society is clear. It has an exciting strategy and mission that will take the newspaper into a bright future.”

The award, announced in Sydney, capped a memorable showing by the Herald — investigations editor Jared Savage won Panpa’s prestigious Hegarty Award. The $10,000   scholarship, sponsored by MediaSuper, was awarded for the year’s outstanding young news publishing executive.

His portfolio included an investigation that led to National MP Maurice Williamson’s resignation as a minister. Savage, 32, intends to use the award to travel to the United States next year, where he will attend an investigative journalism conference and visit influential newsrooms such as Washington Post and the New York Times.

“I’m interested in learning how their investigative reporters work alongside data journalists and programmers to create in-depth and unique stories,” he said.

Stephen Parker, of the Herald’s sister paper the Daily Post in Rotorua, won the award for the top sports photograph from a regional newspaper.

Justine Black, creative services art director of the Herald’s parent company, NZME, was named the designer/creative services professional of the year.

The Herald on Sunday was a finalist in the weekend newspaper category. Two online projects by the team — the coverage of last year’s election and the Gallipoli centenary — made the lineup of finalists for the Digital Publishing Innovation of the Year.

Mark Hollands, chief executive of the industry body, The Newspaper Works said:  “Our judges overwhelmingly remarked on the high quality of journalism and the diversity of entertaining, provocative and often courageous ways in which newspaper media is engaging audiences.

“This ability to authoritatively connect, inform and entertain has never been more important at a time when audiences have limitless choice in content and means of accessing it.”

More than 700 entries were submitted to this year’s awards, which covered print and digital newspaper publishing, photography, publishing innovation and print and production. Major daily and weekend mastheads from Australia and New Zealand took part, with numerous entries from the wider Asia-Pacific region as well.

A further 450 entries were submitted for the Advertising & Marketing awards. The Newspaper of the Year awards are sponsored by Norske Skog.

The full list of winners:

Daily Newspaper of the Year
Community: The Gympie Times – APN News & Media
Regional: Newcastle Herald – Fairfax Media
National/Metropolitan: The New Zealand Herald – NZME.

Weekend Newspaper of the Year
The Weekend Australian: News Corp Australia
Non-daily Newspaper of the Year: Community
The City: Messenger Newspapers
Regional: Queensland Country Life: Fairfax Media

Portrait/Community: Dean Finlay – Jon Hewson, Mandurah Coastal Times
Regional: Beauty Redefined – Sylvia Liber, Illawarra Mercury
National / Metropolitan: Adam Houda – Nicolas Walker, Good Weekend Magazine, Fairfax Media
Features and Lifestyle/Community: The Giants – Andrew Ritchie, Western Suburbs Weekly, Community Newspaper Group
Regional: Fields Of Fire – Adam Hourigan, Daily Examiner
National / Metropolitan: Legends of the Small Screen – David Caird, News Corp Australia (Sunday Herald Sun, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mail)
Sport/Community: Jessica Whiting – Jon Hewson, Mandurah Coastal Times
Regional: Dive – Stephen Parker, Rotorua Daily Post (NZME)
National / Metropolitan: Blue Water Classic – Sydney Hobart Race 2014 – Brett Costello, Daily Telegraph
News/Community: Dramatic Water Rescue – Simon Maude, North Shore Times, New Zealand (Fairfax Media)
Regional: How do you tell him? – Glenn Hampson, Gold Coast Bulletin
National / Metropolitan (TIE): Dramatic Water Rescue – Simon Maude, (Fairfax Media)
Sydney’s Sea of Love: Toby Zerna, Courier-Mail and
Environment: 1-Degree’s Recycling Expo – News Corp Australia
Technical Excellence/Single-width/Community: Sharp Daily (Taiwan) – Apple Daily Publications
Regional: Herdsman Print Centre – Harvey-Waroona Reporter, West Australian Newspapers
National / Metropolitan: Apple Daily (Hong Kong) – Apple Daily Publications
Double-width/ Community: Frankston Times – Border Mail Print Centre, Albury, Fairfax Media
Regional: Illawarra Mercury – Canberra Print & Distribution Centre, Fairfax Media
National / Metropolitan: South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
Pre-print or Supplement (OPEN): Lifestyles of the 50+ – Tamworth Print Centre, Fairfax Media
Print Centre of the Year (OPEN): Yandina Print Centre, APN News & Media
Best Mobile Site/App (OPEN): The Age iPad App – The Age
Best Niche / Specialty App or Microsite (OPEN): #SnapSydney – NewsLocal, News Corp Australia
Innovation of the Year (OPEN): Story of Gallipoli – The Age, Fairfax Media
News Site of the Year/Community: The Maitland Mercury (
Regional: Newcastle Herald (
National / Metropolitan: The Advertiser, Adelaide (
Hegarty Industry Scholarship: Best Young Executive Under 35, Jared Savage – The New Zealand Herald, NZME
Best Print Single Advertisement for a Client/Community: Blayney Chronicle – De-Sex Your Dog, He’ll Be Less Nuts
Regional: The Gisborne Herald – Dirty Weekend (Independently owned)
National / Metropolitan: The Daily Telegraph – Les Miserables Wrap
Best Print Campaign for a Client/Community: Manning River Times – The Shed Company
Regional: The Gisborne Herald – Larsen Sawmilling (Independently owned)
National / Metropolitan: Otago Daily Times – McDonald’s (Independently owned)
Best Feature / Supplement / Native Advertising Environment/Community: Riverine Herald – Echucamoama magazine
Regional: The Advocate, Burnie – Ignite
National / Metropolitan: Herald Sun – The Great War Magazine Series
Best Print Idea or Innovation Presented to a Client or Agency (OPEN): Mercury/Sunday Tasmanian/ – Festival of Voices
Best Integrated Campaign for a Client (OPEN): Mercury/Sunday Tasmanian/ – Licence to Thrill, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

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