WINNER: RNZ and Vanishing Point Studio
Game Change: NZ’s burgeoning video game industry

JUDGES: Jo Malcolm & Melissa Gardi

‘’This award is all about innovation in digital storytelling and the winner, Game Change stood out for exactly that. By applying gaming technology to engage the audience, the viewer is immersed into the story by making you a participant. You can literally play a game inside the story and make decisions, giving you a deeper understanding and experience of the subjects and the topic. Game Change used innovative design, language and the mechanics of video games but didn’t lose the narrative of good story-telling, giving us real insight into a new burgeoning industry with colourful and rich subjects at the heart.”

“This category was so tough to pick a winner, due to the high calibre of the entries, so we also awarded a runner up. The 100 Year Forecast is a series, showing the potential futures for New Zealand according to various forecasts in carbon emission reduction. It was stark, frightening and engaged us in a way that other stories on climate change had not. The graphics were clever, clear and interesting. Innovation in digital storytelling at its best.”

RUNNER UP: The Spinoff with Hex Work Productions and Vanishing Point Studio – 100 Year Forecast

Stuff – Aotearoa in 20
Stuff Circuit/Stuff – Emma
The Spinoff with Toby Morris and Dr Siouxsie Wiles – Break the chain
TVNZ and Vanishing Point Studio – Answers Under the Ice

Black Sheep

JUDGES: Andrew Davies & Justine Kelly

“The judges thought this was a great concept for a podcast, with a fantastic name that really suited the style and approach of the show. History is a hugely popular genre and getting in to it via rogues and villains is a really engaging way of telling stories from the past. The presenter has a good, conversational style and that’s helped by the scripting which doesn’t dwell too much on facts and figures but more on character. The stories are all really well-structured and it uses lots of audio techniques – archival material, scripted drama, sound effects and music – to engage the audience.”

Newshub Nation/Discovery NZ – Supplementary Question
Nanogirl Labs Ltd/RNZ – Nanogirl’s Great Science Adventures

WINNER: Bird of Paradise and RNZ
Getting Better – A Year in the Life of a Māori Medical Student

JUDGES: Diana Goodman & Alice Brennan

“Getting Better is an important and eye-opening podcast that powerfully drives home the inequality for Maori caused by racism in New Zealand’s health service. The medical knowledge held by presenter Emma Espiner gives it extra heft. A must-listen production.”

Bird of Paradise and RNZ – The Service
The Spinoff Coming Home


JUDGES: Isabelle Oderberg, Bryce Johns & Shane Taurima

“The NZ Herald has a clear edge when it comes to design and functionality. The app is world class; the news ticker gives a sense of urgency. But on content, it was a close run thing between the two major national players. It was a ding dong battle, with Stuff surprisingly holding the edge on timely America’s Cup analysis. Overall though, the Herald’s range of contributors, ability to own the big event and more consistent targeting to a national audience got it home.”

RUNNER UP: Stuff App/Stuff Ltd

The Eastern Bay App


JUDGES: John Baker, Joseph Barratt & Shane Taurima

“A unanimous decision by all three judges made the NZ Herald a clear winner. All the finalists were compelling in their own right, showing significant strategic development and improved journalistic delivery over the prior year. This bodes well for the future.”


Feature Writing

WINNER: Greg Bruce | Canvas, NZ Herald/NZME
Goodwill hunting

JUDGES: Jim Tully & Olivia Carville

“The judges said this feature story offered a refreshing take on feminism and female empowerment in Maori communities. The compelling narrative touched on some of society’s most important contemporary issues, from systemic racism to suicide and sexual abuse. This was a story for the moment; beautifully told in both a confronting and uplifting way.”

Naomi Arnold | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media Wildfire
Steve Braunias | NZ Herald/NZME My monster who died in a ditch
Jehan Casinader | Sunday Star-Times/Stuff Not Out
Dana Johannsen | Stuff The Mystery of Mrs Muir

WINNER: Mike White | North & South/Bauer Media
Anatomy of a Scandal: 20 Years of Lies, Cover-ups, Incompetence and Shonky Science

JUDGES: Alan Young & Jonathon Howe

“A quality field of well-researched and well-presented entries made the judges’ task difficult, but the winner stood out as an incisive examination of the evidence given in one of New Zealand’s most  controversial murder cases. The writer obviously knew and understood his subject well, and his research, analysis and writing skills have combined to produce an outstanding article that makes compelling reading.”

RUNNER UP: Aaron Smale | Abuse, torture and a deep state campaign of denial

Guyon Espiner | RNZ Gassed in their cells, begging for food at Auckland Women’s Prison

WINNER: Florence Kerr | Stuff
Tame Iti

JUDGES: Isabelle Oderberg & Sue Ahearn

“This was not an easy decision, given the extraordinarily high quality of entrants this year in this category. But this phenomenal piece of writing stopped us in our tracks. The human face of the toll of racism that can be perpetrated by our industry and the bravery in telling his story while taking a good, hard, look in the mirror was impressive, as was the standard and quality of the presentation and photography.”

RUNNER UP: Isaac Davison | NZ Herald/NZME Dilworth School sex abuse investigation

Nicholas Jones | NZ Herald/NZME Covid and the korowai
Kirsty Lawrence | Waikato Times/Stuff Force for Change
Andrea Vance | Stuff Living in Silence

WINNER: Veronica Schmidt | RNZ
I was filmed in a Kmart changing cubicle

JUDGES: Jim Tully & Shaun Bamber

“The judges said Veronica Schmidt was a clear winner with a powerful account of her fight to bring to justice a man who had videoed her in a dressing room. The 120,000 page views this story accumulated was testament to the intense interest Veronica’s story attracted.”

Nadine Anne Hura | The Spinoff Listening to the silence: Those who don’t, can’t or won’t vote this election
Shelley Burne-Field | E-Tangata The Grind of Racism
Ruby Heyward | Sunday Star-Times/Stuff My father isn’t a work of fiction… He’s better
Craig Hoyle | Sunday Star-Times Leaving the Exclusive Brethren: 10 years on

WINNER: Michael Andrew | The Spinoff

JUDGES: Cheryl Norrie & Sue Ahearn

“Michael Andrew’s three features stood out in a talented field of up and coming young journalists. His stories were beautifully written in plain English and a joy to read. He chose original subjects reflecting a depth and colour in his reporting.”

Katie Harris | NZ Herald/NZME
Joel MacManus | Dominion Post/Stuff
Stewart Sowman-Lund | The Spinoff

WINNER: Mike White | Dominion Post, Sunday Star-Times/Stuff and North & South/Bauer Media

JUDGES: Keri Welham & Susannah Walker

“Mike’s work is a masterclass in long-form storytelling. He starts with topics of national significance, applies months – and in some cases – years of tireless in-depth reporting, and crafts it all into journalism which holds the reader’s attention right to the last word, and resonates long after.”

RUNNER UP: Guyon Espiner | RNZ

Kate Evans | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media
David Fisher | NZ Herald/NZME
Dana Johannsen | Stuff

WINNER: Nicholas Jones | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Keri Welham & Michelle Hurley

“Nicholas’ portfolio stood out for his powerful, empathetic, spare writing and for the substance and heft of his stories.”

Kim Knight | Canvas, Weekend Herald/NZME
Matt Nippert | NZ Herald/NZME
Mike White | Dominion Post/Stuff and North & South/Bauer Media
Simon Wilson | NZ Herald/NZME


WINNER: Toby Morris | The Spinoff
Toby Morris’ collaborations with microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles

JUDGES: Vasanti Unka & Fiona Lascelles

‘’They distilled quite complex scientific information into simple but direct and relatable graphics that were very effective in communicating to a really broad audience.

RUNNER UP: Newshub Design Team | Newshub/Discovery NZ – 2020 New Zealand Election

Stuff Interactives | Stuff – Starting Again, Deep Trouble, Labour Day
Stuff Circuit | Stuff – Emma, False Profit, The Ultimate Con
Abhi Topiwala | Sunday/TVNZ – ALO

WINNER: Pattrick Smellie | BusinessDesk/Content Ltd

JUDGES: Emma Field & Andrew Holden

‘’Pattrick’s columns are always strong, with a clearly stated opinion that is then backed up by detailed analysis of the subject. He asks compelling questions around the use of public money, and has the ability to write across a wide range of issues. A must-read columnist.”

RUNNER UP: Maria Slade | The National Business Review

Paul McBeth | BusinessDesk/Content Ltd
Tom Pullar-Strecker | Stuff
Calida Stuart-Menteath | The National Business Review

WINNER: Anna Rawhiti-Connell \

JUDGES: Deborah Hill Cone & Megan Nicol Reed

‘’The generosity, warmth and humor of Anna Rawhiti-Connell’s columns is underpinned by strong writing and sophisticated thinking; taken together these qualities made her a clear choice for first-place.

Derek Cheng | NZ Herald/NZME
Virginia Fallon | Stuff
Leonie Hayden | The Spinoff

WINNER: Jehan Casinader | BusinessDesk/Content Ltd

JUDGES: Jaewynn McKay & Glenn Conway

‘’Jehan is a journalist not afraid to debate issues that prick the social conscience and provoke some uncomfortable conversations. Powerful, compelling and brave writing. 

RUNNER UP: Pattrick Smellie | BusinessDesk/Content Ltd

Jane Clifton | New Zealand Listener/Are Media
John Roughan | NZ Herald/NZME
Jenee Tibshraeny |
Andrea Vance | Stuff

WINNER: Paul Thomas | New Zealand Listener/Are Media

JUDGES: Foster Niumata & Coen Lammers

‘’Paul Thomas was the stand-out entry in the sport’s columnist category. Paul showed to be a professional opinion maker who keeps his Listener audience interested with his original approach to high-profile news events and a lively and tight writing style.

WINNER: Pattrick Smellie | BusinessDesk

JUDGES: Deborah Hill Cone & Megan Nicol Reed

‘’Today’s reader, overserved with opinions, will not regret taking the time to be more deeply informed and challenged by Patrick Smellie’s world class analysis.  Patrick’s portfolio on three big issues of 2020 – the America’s Cup, media governance and the Covid economy – has the authority and bite that can only be earned after decades of fastidious reporting.  New Zealand readers are fortunate to have him.

WINNER: Toby Morris | The Spinoff

JUDGES: Jenny Nicholls & Pat Campbell

‘’In a year marked as much by disinformation as by COVID, Morris’s outstanding work, shared globally and picked up by the World Health Organisation, is worth celebrating for its accuracy, skill and empathy. Morris is also a talented visual story teller. We meet Tasia, who helps to keep items on other people’s shelves while her own are bare, and glow worm caves throwing a light on the temporary nature of human plight.

Rod Emmerson | NZ Herald/NZME
Sharon Murdoch | Stuff Media, Sunday Star-Times, Dominion Post/Stuff
Shaun Yeo | Otago Daily Times/Allied Press

WINNER: Leonie Hayden | The Spinoff

JUDGES: Deborah Hill Cone & Shaun Bamber

‘’This was a close contest but the judges agreed that Leonie’s passionate and thoughtful writing represents an essential perspective in our national conversation. Both eloquent and bluntly confronting, informative and entertaining, she is a thoroughly deserving winner.

Liam Dann | NZ Herald/NZME
Alison Mau | Stuff
Andrea Vance | Stuff
Simon Wilson | NZ Herald/NZME

WINNER: Charlotte Grimshaw | New Zealand Listener/Are Media and

JUDGES: Anthony Byrt & Jane Wrightson

‘’In a year of exemplary entries, Charlotte Grimshaw stood out as a marvel of eloquence, skill and incisiveness. Her portfolio made clear that, while she always expects the best from our writers, she is always prepared to give her best in return. New Zealand literature is lucky to have a writer who takes the art of criticism so seriously.

RUNNER UP: Sally Blundell | North & South/Bauer Media, Landfall Review Online and Academy of NZ Literature

Mark Broatch | New Zealand Listener/Are Media and Academy of NZ Literature
James Croot | Stuff
Diana Wichtel | New Zealand Listener/Are Media

WINNER: Carmen Parahi | Stuff

JUDGES: Michael Boggs, Sinead Boucher, Michael Muir and Grant McKenzie (NPA Board members)

Carmen Parahi’s award as Editorial Leader of the Year recognises not only her extraordinary leadership of Stuff’s Ta Matou Pono (Our Truth) project, but a much wider impact on our industry that will change New Zealand journalism for ever – for the better. It is clear that Carmen is not only an exceptional editor but an extraordinary wahine toa, whose leadership is now influencing newsrooms worldwide as they grapple with their own past and future relationships with indigenous and minority groups. Ka pai Carmen.

Debbie Porteous | Otago Daily Times/Allied Press
Jane Skinner | Sunday/TVNZ
Todd Symons | Newshub/Discovery NZ
Nadia Tolich | NZ Herald/NZME


WINNER: Here/SFG Media

JUDGES: Lauren Quaintance & Fiona Lascelles

‘’A stand-out in this category, HERE manages to be both bold and thoughtful at the same. From the use of block colour that evokes the warmth of home to the impeccable attention to detail (right down to the position of the barcode) everything about this cover is well considered.

Air Force News/Bluestar Publishing
Metro Magazine/Metro Media Group
New Zealand Listener/Are Media

WINNER: New Zealand Listener/Are Media

JUDGES: Sally Duggan & Melissa Gardi

‘’After a brutal six-month shutdown, the Listener has bounced straight back to its position as a leader of NZ’s intellectual and political debate. Subs are strong, retail sales are up.  It’s a remarkable achievement by a remarkable magazine: one that hits the spot, every week, with smart, witty content that is always important and never dull.

RUNNER UP: New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media

Here/SFG Media
Metro Magazine/Metro Media Group

WINNER: New Zealand Doctor | Rata Aotearoa

JUDGES: Sarah Dunn & Penny Lewis

‘’NZ Doctor is a remarkable magazine, particularly when you consider it’s produced every two weeks. It has a strong connection to its audience, with its print publication and daily online news providing comprehensive coverage. The mix of news, academic and professional articles, as well as people stories and lighthearted content, offers a balanced diet, which we all know is the key to good health. Kudos too for introducing email newsletters and podcasts – all in a year where the health sector has faced such difficult challenges.

Air Force News/Bluestar Publishing
NZ Dairy Exporter


WINNER: The Press/Stuff

JUDGES: Bruce Morris & Stuart Howie

‘’A general lack of photo-driven front pages was disappointing, and hopefully doesn’t signal a slide in commitment to photojournalism in New Zealand. The New Zealand Herald was, as usual, very strong. But The Press, with expertly deployed words, images, illustration and graphics, was a little ahead. Canterbury’s daily produced powerful covers to mark the mosque massacre court decision, and a decade since the Pike River tragedy – supporting them with the beautifully illustrated apology for historic racism.


Bay of Plenty Times/NZME
Herald on Sunday/NZME

WINNER: Travel, NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Lauren Quaintance & Geraldine Johns

‘’In a year where the very idea of travel was challenged, Travel magazine has forged a new identity showing New Zealanders the breadth of experiences in their own backyard. With inspiring imagery, meticulously-researched stories and helpful break-outs, it always puts the needs of its readers first. An admirable portfolio that inspires us all to explore.

Canvas, Weekend Herald/NZME
Sunday magazine, Sunday Star-Times/Stuff
Viva, NZ Herald/NZME

WINNER: Oamaru Mail/Allied Press

JUDGES: Ewan McDonald & Mike Fletcher

‘’The judges commented the Oamaru Mail stood head and shoulders above other contenders. The paper lives and breathes its community. There’s an impressive amount of news, sport and lifestyle content in each edition, crisply and tightly written. The judges were particularly impressed with the Mail’s campaigns on cyberbullying and family harm – issues that community newspapers often sidestep. The judges noted the other finalists had worked hard for their readers.

Gulf News/Pendragon Press
Mountain Scene/Allied Press
The Star, Dunedin/Allied Press
Wairarapa Midweek/National Media

WINNER: The Press/Stuff

JUDGES: Paul Thompson, Nicola Coburn & Stu Oldham

‘’The Press is the clear winner. It is a comprehensive, substantial, diverse and throughtfully edited paper and is closely attuned to its community and their interests. Over the past decade The Press has had to cover some of the biggest and toughest local stories in its history, stories that reshaped the community while also resonating nationally and internationally. Those traumatic events have strengthened the paper and brought out the best in its staff. This is a fine newspaper with its finger on the pulse of an evolving Canterbury community.

Dominion Post/Stuff

WINNER: Rotorua Daily Post/NZME

JUDGES: Paul Thompson, Nicola Coburn & Stu Oldham

‘’An absolute stand-out. There is no doubt that local news remains at the heart of this publication. A great selection of news from across the community and a high standard of reporting. The Rotorua Daily Post delivers a meaty read that is both fresh and relevant. This newspaper has also enjoyed what is almost unheard of these days – higher circulation and readership figures. It’s not hard to see why.

RUNNER UP: Hawke’s Bay Today/NZME

Bay of Plenty Times/NZME
Northern Advocate/NZME

WINNER: The Weekend Press/Stuff

JUDGES: Paul Thompson, Nicola Coburn & Stu Oldham

‘’The Weekend Press is a consistently well-crafted and superbly presented read that has people – real people – at the centre of all it does. There are local faces everywhere on comprehensively curated news pages, and in the in-depth, South Island-focused pieces of national interest that make Mainlander such a meaty, revisitable read.
The entry included work on the Canterbury earthquakes and the Christchurch terror attacks. The Weekend Press continues to walk with its communities, presenting their stories with empathy, authority and passion.

Weekend Herald/NZME

WINNER: The Weekend Press/Stuff

JUDGES: Paul Thompson, Nicola Coburn & Stu Oldham

‘’The Weekend Press is the Newspaper of the Year not for the stories that happen in its patch, but for how it explores them. Stories written, illustrated and presented with carefully crafted authority, urgency and flair are developed with explainers and analysis and, crucially, with the views and faces of the people – readers – who are most affected. It’s not a newspaper of talking heads and heady politics; The Weekend Press is a cleverly designed and truly South Island newspaper whose impact and interest has at its foundations the carefully told stories of the people who live there.


WINNER: David White | Stuff

JUDGES: Anthony McKee & Victoria Birkinshaw

‘’While there were numerous examples of good photographs in the features category, the judges felt that David White’s collection of portraits were both compelling and evocative and would draw the viewer in to learn more about the stories behind them..

Richard Robinson | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media
Chris Skelton | Stuff

Claire Eastham-Farrelly | RNZ
Chris Weissenborn | Navy Today Magazine

WINNER: Brett Phibbs | NZ Herald/NZME and New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media

JUDGES: Mike Bowers & Rob Taggart

‘’In a year dominated around the world by the Covid pandemic Brett has produced a technically brilliant set of graphic photographs to illustrate the many facets and layers of this unfolding and complicated story. Clean and graphic pictures are an essential part of coveying the often complicated story of controlling a pandemic, Brett has filled this brief. A deserving winner with a strong body of work.

RUNNER UP: David White | Stuff

John Cowpland | Alphapix and Stuff
David Unwin | Manawatū Standard/Stuff

WINNER: Brett Phibbs | PhibbsVisuals, Photosport, NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Mike Bowers & Rob Taggart

‘’In a unique year of Covid interrupted sport around the world Brett Phibbs has submitted a strong portfolio of different sports which incorporated the train from home ethos and a graphic new angle on rugby line out using a drone. A deserving winner.”

RUNNER UP: Andrew Cornaga | Photosport

FINALIST: Hannah Peters | Getty Images

WINNER: Lawrence Smith | Stuff

JUDGES: Anthony McKee & Victoria Birkinshaw

‘’The winning essay from a Black Lives Matter protest offered judges and viewers a compelling dialogue of images that brought the viewer into the midst of the story. The strong, consistent visual style made for a cohesive and dramatic set of images.

RUNNER UP: Brett Phibbs | Photosport, NZ Herald/NZME, New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media

Michael Craig | Canvas Magazine, Weekend Herald/NZME
Cameron McLaren | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media
Richard Robinson | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media

WINNER: Ricky Wilson | Stuff

JUDGES: Greg Treadwell & Isabella Harrex

‘’Ricky Wilson’s images stood out for their strong impact and storytelling qualities. Each revealed different skills in composition and technical excellence, and there was a commendable consistency of impact across the portfolio.

FINALIST: Ryan Anderson | Stuff

WINNER: Brett Phibbs | PhibbsVisuals, NZ Herald/NZME, Photosport, New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media

JUDGES: Louise Graham & Phil Reid

‘’Master of his craft

Mark Baker | Associated Press
John Cowpland | Alphapix, Stuff, Photosport
Iain McGregor | Stuff
David White | Stuff


WINNER: Newshub/Discovery NZ with Michael Morrah
Covid-19 crisis

JUDGES: Irene Chapple & Ali Ikram

‘’The judges of this category would like to acknowledge that 2020 was a tough year to be a journalist. With trust in Government at record levels, holding power to account took a great deal of judgement and resolve. The winning entry had to preserve the traditional role of journalism as society’s conscience while engaging constructively with this new context. Beyond that, journalists – and indeed all New Zealanders – were being confronted with a pandemic, the magnitude of which we’d never seen before. Michael Morrah of Newshub presented a series of reports revealing a dire lack of border worker testing, issues with PPE, and shortages of required medical equipment. Through the tenacity, clarity and quality of his reporting, Michael Morrah made New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 stronger. This is a signficant achievement, and the reason we have selected him as the winner from a very impressive field.

Newshub/Discovery NZ with Tova O’Brien – Election 2020: National’s leadership troubles
NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB/NZME – The Year of Covid
Stuff – Covid-19 Alert level 4 lockdown
Sunday/TVNZ with Jane Skinner – Covid-19 coverage

Our Truth: Tā Mātou Pono

JUDGES: Andrew Holden & Kevin Calvert

‘’Carmen Parahi and the Stuff team were already on our radar with the Matariki campaign that resulted in a new national holiday. But Our Truth: Ta Matou Pono eclipsed that – and every other entry – with the depth of its apology for racism against Māori in Aotearoa. A courageous campaign by Stuff, which included admitting unfair treatment by its own newspapers. And there’s the promise of more to come in 2021.

RUNNER UP: Northern Advocate/NZME – Our Hidden Homeless

Checkpoint/RNZ – Air New Zealand refunds
Chris Lynch, Newstalk ZB – Christchurch Hospital public parking
The Spinoff – Explaining Coronavirus – Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris
RNZ – Here We Are
The Project/Discovery NZ – Love Grace

WINNER: Aaron Smale |
Abuse, torture and a deep state campaign of denial

JUDGES: Clive Lind & Peter Bale

‘’In an impressive field that was a credit to the investigative journalists, and their publishers, Aaron Smale’s winning work stood out for the anger it couldn’t help but provoke. It forced the government, institutions, and the nation to reflect and account.”

Guyon Espiner | RNZ – SIS Secrets Revealed
Kristin Hall | TVNZ – Weta Digital: World’s most beautiful toxic waste dump
Thomas Manch | Stuff – Mosque terrorist wrongly granted firearms licence
Michael Morrah | Newshub/Discovery NZ – Lack of testing for border workers
Jared Savage | NZ Herald/NZME – Gangs of New Zealand

NZ First donations

JUDGES: Jim Tully & James Hollings

‘’This was a clear winner due to the depth of research, the public interest involved, and the immediate and ongoing impact of the results of that research. It upheld the finest tradition of investigative journalism…holding power to account.”

Stuff – Unwarranted
Sunday/TVNZ – I Can’t Breathe

WINNER: Kurt Bayer | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Geraldine Johns & Corinne Ambler

‘’Kurt Bayer’s portfolio is extraordinary. His compelling mix of pieces strike the perfect tone – in the most challenging of circumstances. Bayer demonstrates depth, research, maturity and integrity. The judges found his pieces resonated long after reading.”

Blair Ensor | The Press and Dominion Post/Stuff
Kirsty Johnston | Stuff and NZ Herald/NZME
Hamish McNeilly | The Press/Stuff
Tony Wall | Stuff

WINNER: Eloise Gibson | Stuff

JUDGES: Kimberley Collins & Emma Field

‘’Eloise’s work took us on a journey of three important important environmental issues that everyone should not only know about ,but be thinking about. Her work is skillful, well researched and she make complex climate science and concepts easy to understand, with personal stories which makes the topic come alive. She challenges policy makers and every day New Zealanders to sit up and listen on the important environmental issues of beach erosion and car usage, and questions why old forests which offer so much to the environment are not included in the countries emissions trading scheme. It’s likely you will be thinking about Eloise’s stories long after you have read them, which is the hall mark of top class journalism. In a high quality field of entries this year Eloise’s work really shone.”

Alison Ballance | RNZ
Kate Evans | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media
Farah Hancock |
Ellen O’Dwyer | Waikato Times and Stuff
Olivia Wannan | Stuff

WINNER: Tom Dillane | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: John Roughan & Richard Harman

‘’The general reporting award attracted a very high standard of entries overall. Tom Dillane’s work was distinguished by its consistency and brevity. He presented three strong stories, all news breaks, all displaying an eye for a sharp angle and an ability to write simply, vividly and succinctly.”


Georgina Campbell | NZ Herald/NZME
Mark Crysell | Sunday/TVNZ

WINNER: Mihingarangi Forbes | The Hui/Great Southern Television and Newshub/Discovery NZ

JUDGES: Scott Campbell & Tina Wickliffe

“Mihingarangi’s fearless story telling married with high production value puts her in a league of her own. Her investigation into missing Uawa woman Jamie Kaiwai not only gave a powerful voice to the marginalised, it exposed failings of justice and expectations of the public service. Mihi’s equally compelling report on Taekwondo world champion Janae Whakarau told an all too familiar tale of abuse of authority and sexual indecency towards a minor, but in a way that helped restore mana to the very courageous Janae. Koia kei a koe e Mihi.”

Te Aniwa Hurihanganui | RNZ
Florence Kerr | Stuff
Jody O’Callaghan | Stuff
Carmen Parahi | Stuff

WINNER: Tamsyn Parker | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Erica Lloyd & Richard Meadows

“We were impressed by Tamsyn’s highly topical reporting, with her initiative and perseverance culminating in a seven-figure payout to short-changed KiwiSaver members. “

Garth Bray | Fair Go,
Rob Stock | Stuff

WINNER: Patrick Gower | Newshub/Discovery NZ

JUDGES: Jaewynn McKay & Derek Fox

“Patrick Gower presented a strong well researched and produced portfolio of stories.”

RUNNER UP: Lisa Owen | Checkpoint/RNZ

Vicki Anderson | The Press/Stuff
Nita Blake-Persen | RNZ
Jamie Morton | NZ Herald/NZME
Susan Strongman | RNZ
Lynley Ward | NZ Herald/NZME

WINNER: Lorna Thornber |

JUDGES: Ewan McDonald & Venetia Sherson

“In a year when travel wasn’t even a thing, Lorna Thornber didn’t miss a beat. Her in-depth report on the rise and fall of Air NZ was illuminating; a piece on the benefits of a retreat honest and revealing. The story about expat Kiwis during COVID showed the tough decisions some were facing. The borders may have closed and the skies emptied, but this writer reminds us that creativity can prevail even during a pandemic.”

RUNNER UP: Nick Perry | Associated Press (published by NZ Herald and Stuff)

Thomas Bywater | NZ Herald/NZME
Michelle Langstone | NZ Herald/NZME

WINNER: Nikki Mandow |

JUDGES: Owen Poland & Felicity Anderson

“Mandow’s portfolio provides clarity on a compelling variety of topics that impact a wide range of stakeholders – from business owners to Mum and Dad investors, consumers and people with debt. Her writing style also challenges readers to reflect on important issues that affect our daily lives.”

RUNNER UP: Matt Nippert | NZ Herald/NZME

Nikki Macdonald | Sunday Star-Times, Dominion Post,
Jenny Ruth | BusinessDesk/Content Ltd
Maria Slade | The National Business Review

WINNER: Jonty Dine | Nelson Weekly

JUDGES: Greg Treadwell & Glenn Conway

“These are insightful, thoughtful and well-constructed stories told with heart and energy. Jonty has tackled some tough and challenging subjects and crafted them into compelling and thought-provoking reads.”

Charles Anderson | Nelson Weekly
Justin Latif | The Spinoff

WINNER: Matt Nippert | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Ngahuia Wade & Alan Sunderland

“Matt’s detailed and insightful deep analysis of the biggest story of the year was a deserved winner, combining hard work, thoroughness and determination with a series of new and revealing exclusive angles.”

RUNNER UP: Andrea Vance | Stuff

Henry Cooke | Stuff
Amelia Jane Wade | NZ Herald/NZME
Jenna Lynch | Newshub/Discovery NZ
Tova O’Brien | Newshub/Discovery NZ

WINNER: Kurt Bayer | NZ Herald/NZME

JUDGES: Tony Verdon & Venetia Sherson

“The range and depth of Kurt Bayer’s entry stands out in what is an exceptionally high quality field of entrants. His entries are balanced and fair, while cleverly drawing the reader into the detail of his subjects.”

Kiri Gillespie | Bay of Plenty Times/NZME
Robin Martin | RNZ
Samantha Olley | Rotorua Daily Post/NZME

WINNER: Charlie Mitchell | Stuff

JUDGES: Barbara Fountain & Mike Dickison

“In his piece “Watered Down”, Charlie captured the way science works with facts, not consensus, and how a lack of consensus can be used as an excuse for bad policy – and he makes the arcane details of nitrogen pollution entertaining.”

Naomi Arnold | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media, The Spinoff
Kate Evans | New Zealand Geographic/Kōwhai Media
Jamie Morton | NZ Herald/NZME
Susan Strongman | RNZ

WINNER: Suzanne McFadden |

JUDGES: Coen Lammers & Bruce Morris

“Suzanne’s portfolio showed the range and quality of one of the country’s finest sports writers, with revealing and gritty examinations of some of the obstacles facing women who live their lives through sport. Her stories have created the appropriate stage for critical issues that can determine the success or failure of some of our best athletes.”

RUNNER UP: Dana Johannsen | Stuff

Dylan Cleaver | NZ Herald/NZME
Ollie Ritchie | Newshub/Discovery NZ

WINNER: Louise Ternouth | RNZ

JUDGES: Mike Fletcher & Felicity Anderson

“Louise Ternouth provided a range of compelling stories that demonstrated a tenacity to uncover the facts. The stories were structured well, told clearly and stood up well on RNZ’s leading news shows.”

RUNNER UP: Ruby Heyward | Stuff

Ella Stewart | RNZ
Steven Walton | The Press/Stuff
Sherry Zhang | The Spinoff

WINNER: Te Aniwa Hurihanganui | RNZ

JUDGES: Ngahuia Wade & Sonya Wilson

Te Aniwa presented a trio of stories that would be impressive coming from a journalist with 20 years experience; coming from someone so new to the game — this portfolio is outstanding. All three were original stories of national significance that demanded national attention and government-level responses. Te Aniwa’s storytelling was engaging across both audio and print. Complicated issues were rendered clearly; the emotive, personal angles were approached with maturity and objectivity. Te Aniwa’s work, and that of Runner Up Charlotte Cook’s and all their fellow finalists, gives us great hope for the future of our industry.”

RUNNER UP: Charlotte Cook | RNZ

Josephine Franks | Stuff
Kethaki Masilamani | Newshub/Discovery NZ
Samantha Olley | Rotorua Daily Post/NZME
Mackenzie Smith | RNZ
Mandy Te Dominion | Post/Stuff

WINNER: Mark Crysell | Sunday/TVNZ

JUDGES: Kamahl Santamaria & Erica Lloyd

“Mark’s story I CAN’T BREATHE is a masterclass in broadcast journalism.  His scripting, use of visuals, ability to hold the viewer’s attention, and knack for injecting himself just enough into the story – young journalists should be watching and learning.  Mark tells stories forensically, clearly, but most importantly respectfully and sensitively – AND he gets results.  A deserved winner.”

RUNNER UP: Tova O’Brien | Newshub/Discovery NZ

Patrick Gower | Newshub/Discovery NZ
Miriama Kamo | Sunday/TVNZ
Melanie Reid |

WINNER: Alison Mau | Stuff

JUDGES: John Roughan & Wayne Hay

“Two entries stood out for their contribution to New Zealand’s social improvement in 2020. Carmen Parahi’s work leads a ground-breaking effort by Stuff to look at news with a Maori perspective and Alison Mau is leading the exposure of sexual harassment. Alison Mau’s revelations concerning two well-known figures in New Zealand’s academic life were fearless, determined pursuits that deserve the highest commendation.”

RUNNER UP: Carmen Parahi | Stuff

Dileepa Fonseka |
Jared Savage | NZ Herald/NZME
Dean Taylor | Te Awamutu Courier/NZME and Waipā Post


WINNER: TVNZ with Thomas Mead and Jared McCulloch
Southland Floods

JUDGES: Wayne Hay & Corinne Ambler

“Covering a flood is never easy but Thomas and Jared overcame the challenges to deliver a well scripted, shot and structured story that beautifully captured the emotion of what was happening in Mataura. Most importantly, the story wasn’t about the reporter, it was about the people and how they were being affected.

RUNNER UP: Newshub Late team/Discovery NZ – Auckland August Lockdown

Stuff with Jason Dorday – Police dog shot

WINNER: Te Ao with MOANA/Māori Television
The Long Reach; Once Were Gangsters; Police Belly Up

JUDGES: Drew Ambrose & Paul Cutler

“In a year where Black Lives Matter dominated the global news cycle,  this compelling body of work by Maori Television was a strong illustration that racial inequality remains a grave problem in New Zealand’s criminal justice system.  From police commissioners to the wrongfully imprisoned, “Te Ao with Moana” featured rare interviews which were conducted with aplomb.   The judges were particularly impressed with the segment “When a visit to a Police Station Goes Belly Up” which forensically unpacked a questionable forceful arrest  responsibly without hyperbole.  This is what public interest journalism is all about.

Sunday/TVNZ – Brothers
Sunday/TVNZ – I Can’t Breathe
Sunday/TVNZ – Stan’s Story
Newshub/Discovery NZ – The Euthanasia Question

WINNER: Stuff Circuit/Stuff Ltd

JUDGES: Drew Ambrose & Paul Cutler

“Among a strong field of contenders – “Emma” was the runaway winner.  This documentary had incredible well considered production values, a riveting original storyline and a charismatic central character.  Paula Penfold and the Stuff Investigates team produced a remarkable tear-jerker that tugged at the heartstrings.   The complexities of adoption is a well trodden subject of numerous documentaries but “Emma” was nothing short of world class storytelling.

Stuff Circuit/Stuff – False Profit
Prime – Help Is On The Way
Stuff – Munted
Newshub/Discovery NZ and Ruckus – Patrick Gower: On Lockdown

WINNER: Abigail Dougherty | Stuff
The Mystery of Mrs Muir

JUDGES: Jane Wrightson & Richard Harman

“This was a story with a terrific and unexpected twist. The video was well put together, given the limited footage to hand, and sufficiently quirky to generate audience interest in a long-forgotten woman. Best of all, it left us wanting more.”

Nick Monro | RNZ – Boy with disability living in garage, family waits on Housing NZ
Claire Eastham-Farrelly | RNZ – Generation Next: Mez & Mahlete
Ryan Anderson | Stuff – NZ is Closed

WINNER: Iain McGregor | Stuff

JUDGES: Jessica Cartwright & Kamahl Santamaria

“Every one of Iain’s stories were beautifully crafted, every frame intentional, and his storytelling ability had us hooked instantly. Iain’s attention to detail and the way he allows his videos to breathe shows a level of skill and understanding that cannot be taught. Truly exceptional work.

RUNNER UP: Rosa Woods | Dominion Post and Stuff

Sam Kelway | 1 News/TVNZ
Mike Scott | NZ Herald/NZME
Chris Skelton | Stuff


WINNER: Zahra Shahtahmasebi | New Zealand Doctor | Rata Aotearoa
Southland Floods

JUDGES: Donna Chisholm & Lorelei Mason

“Zahra’s entries displayed a mature and insightful understanding of our health system and the urgent, far-reaching implications of chronic health under-funding and under-resourcing in rural New Zealand. Her scholarship topic of choice will shed welcome light on a critical health issue in dire need of deeper investigation and government attention. Well done!”

FINALIST: Adam Pearse | Northern Advocate/NZME

WINNER: Cecile Meier | Stuff

JUDGES: Donna Chisholm & Lorelei Mason

“Cecile topped an outstanding portfolio of breaking health news stories with a strong proposal to further her research into the hidden cost of long delays in mental health treatment — an area in which she already has much expertise. The judges were impressed with the detail in the proposal and have no doubt it has the potential to lead to significant new knowledge improvements in a long-neglected field. Cecile was a clear winner.

RUNNER UP: Hannah Martin | Stuff

Greg Bruce | NZ Herald/NZME
Jo Lines-MacKenzie | Waikato Times/Stuff