And the winners are … 

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AUCKLAND, Last night: The television industry celebrated the sector’s collective achievements – one of only a few physical screen award ceremonies to be held globally amidst Covid-19. The NZ Television Awards presented trophies in 40 categories at the sell-out event.

In the news and current affairs categories, Three’s Newshub won this year’s award for Best News Coverage and Newshub’s Michael Morrah was named Reporter of the Year; The Hui’s Mihingarangi Forbes (Three) was Best Presenter: News & Current Affairs; The Spinoff won Best Sports Programme for its documentary series Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends; and Stuff Circuit won Best Current Affairs Programme.

Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry (TVNZ 1) was named TV Personality of the Year, in the only award category decided by public vote, while veteran television executive Andrew Shaw was honoured as 2020 TV Legend.

The Luminaries, produced by Southern Light Films and Working Title TV and aired on TVNZ 1 in New Zealand, dominated the drama craft categories with multiple wins including Best Script: Drama for Eleanor Catton, who adapted her Man Booker Prize-winning book for television, Screen Auckland Best Director: Drama for Claire McCarthy, Best Cinematographer: Drama for Denson Baker, Best Production Design for Felicity Abbott and Daniel Birt, Best Costume Design for Edward K. Gibbon, Best Makeup Design for Jane O’Kane and Best Post Production Design for Alana Cotton. Lead actor Himesh Patel, who played Emery Staines in the series, won the award for Best Actor.

Great Southern Television’s One Lane Bridge (TVNZ 1) was named NZ On Air Best Drama Series and the team from Images & Sound was awarded Best Contribution to a Soundtrack for their work on the Queenstown noir drama series. Runaway Millionaires, Fearless Productions’ dramatisation of Kara Hurring’s true story, was named Images & Sound Best Feature Drama and the telefeature’s composer Claire Cowan also won the award for Images & Sound Best Original Score.


“The Luminaries, produced by Southern Light Films and Working Title TV and aired on TVNZ 1, dominated the drama craft categories.”

Paul Yates, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi won the award for Best Comedy/Comedy Entertainment Programme for season 2 of Wellington Paranormal (TVNZ 2) and Paul Yates also won Best Script: Comedy for the same programme.

Elsewhere in the scripted categories, Miriama McDowell won the award for Best Actress for her role in South Pacific Pictures’ drama series Head High (Three), her co-star Jayden Daniels was named Best Supporting Actor, and Anna Jullienne won Best Supporting Actress for her role in South Pacific Pictures/Three comedy series Mean Mums. Jochen Fitzherbert received the award for Best Editing: Drama for his work on The Gulf, produced by Screentime NZ, Lippy Pictures and Letterbox Produktion for Three in New Zealand.

Hyundai Country Calendar (TVNZ 1), New Zealand’s longest-running television programme, was named Best Factual Series, and Peter Young received the gong for Best Camerawork: Documentary/Factual for his work on the series.

Rogue Productions’ rugby doco By the Balls (TVNZ 1) won NZ On Air Best Documentary while Three’s Patrick Gower was named Best Presenter: Entertainment for the top-rating Patrick Gower: On Weed and his director, Justin Hawkes, was named Best Director Documentary/Factual.

Augusto tapped
James Brown and Prisca Bouchet received the award for Best Editing: Documentary for Funny As (TVNZ 1), Augusto’s look at the story of New Zealand comedy.

Great Southern Television’s RNZ series NZ Wars – Stories of Waitara won the Te Māngai Paho Best Māori Programme Award, and Waka Huia (Scottie Douglas Productions for TVNZ 1) was named Te Māngai Paho Best Reo Māori Programme. Tikilounge’s Marks of Mana documentary for The Coconet TV won the NZ On Air Best Pasifika Programme Award.

Other winners on the night included: animated series Kiri and Lou, produced by Stretchy for TVNZ 2, which was named NZ On Air Best Children’s Programme; TVNZ 1’s Unbreakable, produced by Storymaker, which received the award for Best Original Reality Series; My Restaurant Rules (Great Southern Television for TVNZ 2) which won Best Format Reality; Off the Grid with Pio, produced by Scottie Douglas Productions for Māori Television, which received the gong for Best Lifestyle Programme; Pango Productions’ Aotearoa 250  (TVNZ 1) which was awarded Best Live Event Coverage and Glen Broomhall who was named Best Director: Multi Camera for his work on the TVNZ 2 series Pacific Island Food Revolution.


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