Honours shared in two horse TV race, as TV3 takes news and TVNZ takes drama

  • Media
  • November 5, 2012
  • Ben Fahy
Honours shared in two horse TV race, as TV3 takes news and TVNZ takes drama

The TV industry, here and around the world, is currently dealing with some major challenges, but all that serious business was mostly forgotten on Saturday night as the stars—from in front of and from behind the camera—of the local industry turned up to accentuate the positive at the 2012 New Zealand Television Awards. And in the annual two horse race, it was MediaWorks that wrested the big news prizes off TVNZ, and TVNZ that took home most of the prizes in the drama and reality sections. 

"This may have been the most difficult year ever for the judges," says Rick Friesen, ThinkTV’s chief executive. "So many categories had such strong entrants it was extremely difficult to choose a winner. Each and every winner and finalist was most deserving of the accolades they have received."

While we're on the topic of Think TV, Friesen is retiring at the end of the year, so some of the organisation's responsibilities have recently been scaled back, with trade marketing and legislative affairs both reverting to the two member broadcasters. ThinkTV will maintain its website as a training and information resource for advertisers, and will continue to represent the broadcasters’ non-competitive interests, for example, by compiling industry revenue numbers, by participation on industry bodies such as the ASA and by co-ordinating the television awards.

This year, 3 News took the coveted Best Scheduled News Programme and 60 Minutes, which is set to depart our screens next year in favour of a new current affairs show produced by the current 60 Minutes team, took home Best Current Affairs Series, with Melanie Reid and Eugene Bingham sharing the prestigious Investigation of the Year award for their work on Bronwyn Pullar and the ACC privacy breach. Melanie Reid was also named Journalist of the Year. 

"Winning an award that is judged by your peers is always a special and humbling experience," says director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings. "The competition between the networks is extremely fierce and the quality of journalism, in my view, is very high. From Mike and Hilary to the journos, camera crews, editors and studio staff, 3 News has some of the very best in the business, and the Best News award recognises all their efforts. Our newsrooms around the country will have an extra spring in their step today. 60 Minutes has always prided itself on its investigative journalism and broke this year’s biggest story. Mel Reid and Eugene Bingham’s work on exposing the ACC debacle was world class. Not often do stories produce such significant consequences for a Government or organisation. We are very proud of Mel and Eugene.”

Best News Reporting was shared by outgoing 3 News political editor Duncan Garner and his deputy (and replacement) Patrick Gower for their coverage of the ‘Teapot Tapes’. 3 News also took home Best News Camera (Phil Johnson), while 60 Minutes won Best Current Affairs Camera (Daniel Grade) and Best Current Affairs Editing (Bob Grieve).

“Duncan Garner and Paddy Gower are two of the country’s hardest working journalists,” says Jennings. “They consistently break stories and ask the hard questions. MPs will attest to that. It is great to see their efforts recognised and rewarded.”

TVNZ sent out a release saying One News, Breakfast, Close Up and Sunday had picked up key awards, but perhaps not the key awards it's been accustomed to winning. 

"Every night more New Zealanders turn to One News than any other network, and we know that Kiwis trust us to bring them the most up-to-the minute and accurate information on breaking stories as they develop," says TVNZ head of news and current affairs Ross Dagan. "It’s great to see that we have been recognised by the judges of the New Zealand Television Awards, as well as by our audience."

This year saw the introduction of the Kordia Best Coverage Breaking News award, which was given to One News for its coverage of the Carterton ballooning tragedy in January, and other big winners for TVNZ were reporter Gill Higgins and producer Chris Lynch for their story on Close Up thatexposed online predators. Taking out the Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Daily Programme award, this story lead to an investigation by police, and a man was arrested and convicted for exposing himself to who he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

In the Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Weekly Programme or One-Off Current Affairs Special, reporter Mark Crysell and producer Julie Clothier won for their Sunday story on the parents of the Japanese students who lost their lives in the CTV building. Also on Sunday was the story 'Devil in the Detail', a piece about franchisees for fast-food chain Hell’s Pizza, for which Vinay Ranchhod won Best Graphics award.

In the category of Best News Editing, Luis Portilio won for the piece entitled 'Fashion' for TV One's Breakfast, which discovered Melbourne’s male fashion scene.

Native Affairs' Julian Wilcox won Best Host or Current Affairs Presenter and Best Presenter: Te Reo Maori. And Best Presenter: Entertainment/Factual went to fellow Maori TV host Matai Smith, host of Homai Te Pakipaki. 

Away from the news and current affairs, TVNZ won Best Factual Series for Radar Across the Pacific, Best Observational Reality Series for SPCA Rescue - Christchurch Earthquake Special, Best Constructed Reality Series for The Food Truck, Best Information Series for Global Radar, Best Children’s/Youth Programme for Let’s Get Inventin’ and Best Drama Series for Go Girls. 

TVNZ's Sunday Theatre portfolio won 13 awards, including all four acting accolades. Siege, the story of a gunman taking a town hostage, won five awards including the new category of Best One-Off Dramawith four going to Tangiwai – A Love Story, three to Bliss – The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield and one for What Really Happened – Votes for Women.

Highlights in this collection of awards include the New Zealand on Air Best One-Off Drama prize, Best Script – Drama/ Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor for Mark Mitchinson and Best Performance by a Supporting Actress for Miriama Smith, all for Siege, while Sarah Wiseman took Best Performance by an Actress in What Really Happened – Votes for Women and Best Peformance by a Supporting Actor went to Mick Rose in Tangiwai – A Love Story. Images and Sound Best Director – Drama/ Comedy went to Fiona Samuel for Bliss – The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield.

"Such a strong showing from Sunday Theatre reflects TVNZ’s commitment to quality local television,” says head of TV One and TV2 Jeff Latch. "Our commissioning and programming teams continue to commission and schedule the best in New Zealand drama, popular factual and reality series."

TV3’s run of comedy success continued this year, with critically acclaimed newcomer Hounds, which was created by the downlowconcept, taking home the Best Comedy or Comedy Series Award (despite this win and the acclaim, it hasn't been renewed), while Four won two awards for the Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2011, Best Entertainment or Event Programme and Best Multi-camera Direction. 

The now departed Julie Christie was awarded Best Director – Entertainment/Factual for her work on The Block NZ, and the Paula McTaggart/Gaylene Preston documentary Strongman – The Tragedy was named Best Feature or Drama Documentary. When a City Falls – The People’s Story, which documented the Christchurch Earthquakes took home the awards for Best Director Documentary (Gerald Smyth) and Best Editing Documentary/Factual (Ken Sparks, Richard Lord).

"Local programming is at the heart of TV3, and these awards are a tribute to the hard work, dedication and talent of everyone involved," says MediaWorks TV chief executive, Paul Maher. "The successes of The Block NZ and the Vodafone NZ Music Awards are testament to MediaWorks’ strength in producing large scale, entertaining event television. I would also like to recognise the News and Current Affairs team, which has led the news agenda over the past year, across all its programmes. Tonight’s successes are richly deserved." 

Sky isn't allowed to enter the awards as it's a pay-TV broadcaster and, even though it is able to enter shows that played on its free-to-air network Prime, when we asked back in 2010 why it didn't eneter, it was because it hasn't seen the benefit in entering. It was absent again this year, which is a shame because Sky has recently been pushing its locally-produced content

As we wrote at the time: 

Friesen said in an email: "The Qantas Film and Television Awards programme accepts entries from television programmes that New Zealanders have had the chance to watch on free-to-air broadcast. Programmes that have screened only on pay-to-view networks are currently not eligible for entry because the awards recognise programming created for all New Zealanders."

Given New Zealand has one of the highest per capita rates of pay TV subscription in the world, it seems like a fairly strange rule, particularly considering the recent arrival of TVNZ's Heartland to the Sky platform, which, under current rules, won't be able to strive for Qantas glory. And none of the Sky Sports broadcasts are eligible either.

But Tony O'Brien, Sky's communications director says the company sees it as a free to air gig and, even though it owns Prime and could enter the awards, he says Sky doesn't see much benefit in participating, which seems reminiscent of ACP's current attitude to the Magazine Awards.

"Our relationship is with the viewers and subscribers. That's what matters to us," he says.

When asked why he thought Sky was unable to enter, he said the NZTBC [now ThinkTV] would know. Then he repeated that Sky doesn't see much benefit in participating. And when asked if he knew if it was an archaic rule from the days when pay TV didn't exist, whether it was a long-held grudge from the FTAers, or whether it would even enter if it was eligible, he responded with Sky doesn't see any benefit in participating thrice more.

This year the film and TV awards were separated, and finalists for the New Zealand Film Awards will be announced tonight.

The finalists and winners (in bold)

Best Factual Series

Radar Across the Pacific

Alexander Behse – Zeitgeist Productions (TV ONE)

Intrepid Journeys

Melanie Rakena – Jam TV (TV ONE)

Funny Roots

Nick Ward & James Anderson – Two Heads (TV3)

Best Observational Reality Series

SPCA Rescue  - Christchurch Earthquake Special

Megan Jones – Imagination Television (TV ONE)

Songs From the Inside

Maramena Roderick – Awa Films (Māori TV)

Rescue 1

Philip Smith, Martin Cleave for Great Southern TV (TV2)

Best Constructed Reality Series

The Food Truck

James Anderson & Nick Ward – Two Heads (TV ONE)

Missing Pieces

Sue Donald/David Lomas – Eyeworks New Zealand (TV3)

Marae DIY

Philly de Lacey, Greg Mayor, Nix Jaques – Screentime NZ (Māori TV)

Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Weekly Programme OR One-Off Current Affairs Special

Mark Crysell & Julie Clothier

Cherry Blossom Tragedy

Sunday (TV ONE)

Melanie Reid

Eye of the Storm

60 Minutes (TV3)

Janet McIntyre, Max Adams & Chris Cooke

The Silent Witness

Sunday (TV ONE)

Janet McIntyre & Carolyne Meng-Yee

Reasonable Doubt

Sunday (TV ONE)

Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Daily Programme

Gill Higgins & Chris Lynch

Online Predators

Close Up (TV ONE)

Tristram Clayton

Scam

Campbell Live (TV3)

John Campbell

Kim Dotcom. Who knew what?

Campbell Live (TV3)

Best Director - Entertainment/Factual

Julie Christie

The Block NZ

Eyeworks New Zealand (TV3)

Peter Young

Get Fresh with Al Brown

Fisheye Films (TV ONE)

Best Multi-camera Direction

Mitchell Hawkes

Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2011

MediaWorks TV (FOUR)

Robert Hagen

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa "A Gala Concert"

Arts and Entertainment Productions (Māori TV)

Mitchell Hawkes for Satellite Media

Wilson Dixon – The New Zealand Tour

Satellite Media (TV2)

Best Cinematography Drama/Comedy

David Paul

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

DJ Stipsen

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

David Paul

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Best News Camera

Phil Johnson

Fiji Floods

3 News (TV3)

Bob Grieve

Farmers & Boarding

3 News (TV3)

James Marshall

Cooper

ONE News (TV ONE)

Best Current Affairs Camera

Daniel Grade

Horn of Africa Famine

60 Minutes (TV3)

Chris Brown

Sitting Tall

20/20 (TV2)

Warren Armstrong

Artist

Campbell Live (TV3)

Best Children’s/Youth Programme

Let's Get Inventin'

Claire Logan

Luke Nola (TVNZ7)

Girl vs. Boy

Thomas Robins and David Stubbs

KHF Media (TV2)

The Erin Simpson Show

Emma Gribble and Penny Watson

Whitebait TV (TV2)

Best Information Series

Global Radar

Jane Andrews

Jam TV (TV ONE)

Neighbourhood

Sarah Kinniburgh and Anna Lynch

Satellite Media (TV ONE)

The Nutters Club

Brian Holland, Laurie Clarke and Vincent Burke

Top Shelf Productions (Māori TV)

Best Entertainment OR Event Programme

Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2011

Arwen O’Connor, Angela Mann

MediaWorks TV (FOUR)

2012 Comedy Gala

John McDonald

MediaWorks TV/NZ Comedy Trust (TV3)

The Sitting

Brian Holland, Laurie Clarke and Vincent Burke

Top Shelf Productions (TVNZ7)

Best Performance by a Supporting Actress

Miriama Smith

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Miranda Harcourt

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Sarah Peirse

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Best Performance by a Supporting Actor

Mick Rose

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Peter Elliott

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Mike Minogue

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Best Presenter - Entertainment/Factual

Matai Smith

Homai Te Pakipaki

Māori Television

Andrew Lumsden

Global Radar

Jam TV (TV ONE)

Paul Henry

Would I Lie To You?

MediaWorks TV (TV3)

Images & Sound
Best Editing Drama/Comedy

Margot Francis

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Margot Francis

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Jono Woodford Robinson

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Best Original Music

Don McGlashan

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Joel Haines

Strongman – The Tragedy

A Bigger Picture (TV3)

Peter Hobbs

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Best Sound Design

Chris Burt

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Dick Reade

Strongman – The Tragedy

A Bigger Picture (TV3)

Phil Burton, Chris Hiles, Don Paulin

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Best News Reporting

Duncan Garner & Patrick Gower

Secret Tea Tapes

3 News (TV3)

Amanda Gillies

Mangere Drowning & Barry Hart

3 News (TV3)

Heather du Plessis-Allan

Rena

ONE News (TV ONE)

Best Current Affairs Series

60 Minutes

TV3

Campbell Live

TV3

Sunday

TV ONE

Investigation of the Year

Melanie Reid & Eugene Bingham

The Eye of the Storm

60 Minutes (TV3)

John Hudson & Chris Cooke

Steel Trap

Sunday (TV ONE)

John Campbell and Pip Keane

Friends – John Banks & Kim Dotcom

Campbell Live (TV3)

Best Director Documentary

Gerard Smyth

When a City Falls – The People’s Story

Frank Film (TV3)

Leanne Pooley

Shackleton’s Captain

Making Movies (TV ONE)

Bryan Bruce

Inside Child Poverty

Red Sky Film & Television Ltd (TV3)

Best Cinematography - Documentary/Factual

Simon Baumfield

Shackleton’s Captain

Making Movies (TV ONE)

Thomas Burstyn CSC  &  Chris Brokensha

Strongman – The Tragedy

A Bigger Picture (TV3)

Mark Chamberlin

Neighbourhood

Satellite Media (TV ONE)

Best Editing - Documentary/Factual

Ken Sparks, Richard Lord

When A City Falls – The People’s Story

Frank Film (TV3)

Tim Woodhouse

Shackleton’s Captain

Making Movies (TV ONE)

Mark Albiston

Blakey

Sticky Pictures Ltd (TV ONE)

Best Performance by an Actor

Mark Mitchinson

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Craig Parker

Shackleton’s Captain

Making Movies (TV ONE)

Ryan O’Kane

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Best Performance by an Actress

Sara Wiseman

What Really Happened – Votes for Women

Eyeworks New Zealand (TV ONE)

Kate Elliott

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Amanda Billing

Shortland Street

South Pacific Pictures (TV2)

NZ On Air
Best One-Off Drama

Siege

Philly de Lacey and Ric Pellizzeri

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

BLISS - the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

Michele Fantl

MF Films (TV ONE)

Rage

Tom Scott and Emma Slade

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Best News Editing

Luis Portillo

Fashion

Breakfast (TV ONE)

Brent Walters

Headcases

ONE News (TV ONE)

Rebecca O’Sullivan

Hamwalk

3 News (TV3)

Best Current Affairs Editing

Bob Grieve

Aftershock

60 Minutes (TV3)

Paul Sparkes

Steampunk

Close Up (TV ONE)

Andrew Gibb

Dime

Close Up (TV ONE)

Best Graphics

Vinay Ranchhod

Devil in the Detail (TV ONE)

Vinay Ranchhod

Gambling RP (TV ONE)

Ben Ashby

Steel Trap (TV ONE)

Best Production Design

John Harding

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Images & Sound

Shackleton’s Captain (TV ONE)

Tracey Collins

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Best Costume Design

Sarah Voon

Go Girls Season 4

South Pacific Pictures (TV2)

Nic Smillie

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Kirsty Cameron

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Best Make-Up Design

Linda Wall

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Tracey Sharman

Strongman – The Tragedy

A Bigger Picture (TV3)

Vanessa Hurley & Stefan Knight

Go Girls Season 4

South Pacific Pictures (TV2)

Best Comedy OR Comedy Series

Hounds

thedownlowconcept and Matt McPhail

thedownlowconcept (TV3)

7 Days

Jon Bridges, the downlowconcept

MediaWorks TV (TV3)

Wilson Dixon – The New Zealand Tour

Sarah Kinniburgh, Mitchell Hawkes, Jesse Griffin

Satellite Media (TV2)

JDA
Best Popular Documentary

The Green Chain

Meg Douglas & Kathleen Mantel

Scottie Productions Limited (Māori TV)

Rhodes, Actor Singer

Robert Hagen

Arts and Entertainment Productions (Māori TV)

Inside Child Poverty

Bryan Bruce and Richard Thomas

Red Sky Film & Television Ltd (TV3)

Best Feature OR Drama Documentary

Strongman – The Tragedy

Paula McTaggart and Gaylene Preston

A Bigger Picture (TV3)

When A City Falls – The People’s Story

Gerard Smyth & Alice Shannon

Frank Film (TV3)

Shackleton’s Captain

James Heyward & Andy Salek

Making Movies (TV ONE)

Kordia
Best Coverage Breaking News

ONE News

Carterton Ballooning Tragedy

TV ONE

3 News

Christchurch Earthquakes December 2011

Mike Brockie for 3 News

TV3

3 News

Ewen Macdonald Verdict

Richard Sutherland for 3 News

TV3

Best News OR Current Affairs Presenter

Julian Wilcox

Political All In

Native Affairs (Māori TV)

Mike McRoberts

Earthquake Anniversary

3 News (TV3)

John Campbell

Lyttelton

Campbell Live (TV3)

The Langham, Auckland
Journalist of the Year

Melanie Reid

The Eye of the Storm

60 Minutes (TV3)

Duncan Garner

Secret Tea Tapes

3 News (TV3)

Julie Clothier

Cherry Blossom Tragedy

Sunday (TV ONE)

Gill Higgins

Online Predators

Close Up (TV ONE)

Te Māngai Pāho
Best Māori Language Programme

Whare Taonga

Meg Douglas

Scottie Productions (Māori TV)

Kia Ora Molweni

George Andrews

George Andrews Productions (Māori TV)

Tamaki Paenga Hira

Mechele Harron

Māori Television

Best Presenter: Te Reo Māori

Julian Wilcox

Native Affairs

Māori Television (Māori TV)

Pania Papa

AKO

Māori Television (Te Reo)

Piripi Taylor

Te Kaea

Māori Television (Māori TV)

Best Script - Drama/Comedy

John Banas

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Paula Boock & Donna Malane

Tangiwai – A Love Story

Lippy Pictures (TV ONE)

Tom Scott and Grant O'Fee

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Images & Sound
Best Director - Drama/Comedy

Fiona Samuel

BLISS – the beginning of Katherine Mansfield

MF Films (TV ONE)

Mike Smith

Siege

Screentime NZ (TV ONE)

Danny Mulheron

Rage

Tom Scott Productions (TV ONE)

Images & Sound
Best Drama Series

Go Girls Season 4

Britta Johnstone & Chris Bailey

South Pacific Pictures (TV2)

Underbelly NZ: Land of the Long Green Cloud

Philly de Lacey and Ric Pellizzeri

Screentime NZ (TV3)

Nothing Trivial

Britta Johnstone & Chris Bailey

South Pacific Pictures (TV ONE)

Best Scheduled News Programme

3 News

TV3

ONE News

TV ONE

Tonight

TV ONE

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