Aotearoa’s broadcasting industry celebrated the best of the nation’s television achievements this week with the announcement of the 2021 New Zealand Television Awards winners. Actor-writer-comedian Thomas Sainsbury hosted the online presentation of 39 categories.
Three’s Newshub dominated the news and current affairs categories, taking home an impressive four awards for its journalism. Investigations Reporter Michael Morrah repeated his 2020 success, winning the Reporter of the Year award for the second year in a row. Together with Angus Gillies and Kim Hurring, Morrah also nabbed the Best News Coverage award for his COVID19 Testing programme while broadcaster Tova O’Brien was awarded Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs for Newshub Nation. Great South Television and Aotearoa Media Collective’s The Hui earned the Best Current Affairs Programme award and, for a second time, Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Programme award.
Māori Television’s Terei Tonight presenter and social media sensation Nix Adams took out the hotly contested and publicly voted TV Personality of the Year award, with over 36,500 votes cast for the category this year. Icon of Kiwi screens big and small, veteran actor, director and writer Ian Mune was honoured as 2021’s TV Legend and Have You Been Paying Attention’sHayley Sproull was awarded Best Presenter Entertainment 2021 for her role as host on the TVNZ 2 comedy panel show.
TVNZ won big in the scripted categories, with Kevin & Co and Flat 3 Productions’ critically acclaimed dystopian drama Creamerie taking home the coveted NZ On Air Best Drama Series award, while New Zealand Documentary Board’s ever-popular Wellington Paranormal claimed the Best Comedy/Comedy Entertainment Programme once again, with its series writer Melanie Bracewell receiving the Best Script: Comedy 2021 award.
Warner Bros. International Television Production NZ’s Black Hands star Joel Tobeck won the Best Actor 2021 award for his portrayal of Robin Bain, with the true crime series’ editor, Allanah Bazzard, winning the Best Editing: Drama 2021 gong. Greenstone TV’s The Tender Trap won Best Script: Drama 2021 and lead Rima Te Wiata scored the Best Actress 2021 award for her role as online scam victim Sharon Armstrong. Dave Cameron received the award for Best Cinematography: Drama 2021 for his work on Libertine Pictures and Slim Film + Television’s family drama Mystic (TVNZ 2), and Paul Lear took home the prize for Best Post Production Design 2021 for his work on Greenstone TV, 10,000 Company and Steambox Film Collective’s action thriller Vegas.
Screen Auckland Best Director Drama 2021 award went to Max Currie for Neon and NZME’s ground-breaking transgender drama series Rūrangi, while cast member Arlo Green took home Best Supporting Actor 2021 for his turn in the Autonomouse produced series, and Alison Bruce was awarded Best Supporting Actress 2021 for her role in Three’s second instalment of crime series The Gulf, with production designer Miro Harré winning Best Production Design 2021 for her work on the Lippy Pictures, Screentime New Zealand and Letterbox Films co-production.
Winners in the factual and documentary genre included Natalie Malcon and Thomas Robins, who were awarded Best Director Documentary/Factual 2021 for their TVNZ 1/Warner Bros. International Television Production NZ programme Heaven and Hell – The Centrepoint Story; Fisheye Films‘ RNZ documentary and podcast series Fight for the Wild took home Best Factual Series 2021 and NZ On Air Best Documentary 2021 went to Māori Television’s LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears (Anna Marbrook Productions). Best Editing: Documentary/Factual 2021 was awarded to Simon Coldrick for Kindred Films’ true crime film, Six Angry Women (TVNZ) and Phil Johnson won Best Camerawork: Documentary/Factual 2021 for Stuff Circuit’s moving series Emma.
Three took out both reality television categories, with Best Original Reality Series 2021 being awarded to season two of Warner Bros. International Television Production NZ’s David Lomas Investigates, while Pango Productions Ltd’s Match Fit won Best Format Reality Series 2021.
All Access: Aaron Smith saw Sky Sports secure the Best Sports Programme 2021 award for the fourth time since 2017, while Best Live Event Coverage 2021 was presented to Three’s Aotearoa Music Awards 2020 and Best Director: Multi Camera 2021 went to Wayne Leonard for 36th America’s Cup Match 7.
Other winners on the night included: TVNZ 2 animated series Kiri and Lou, produced by Stretchy, which was named NZ On Air Best Children’s Programme for the second year in a row; Māori Television’s Rage Against The Rangatahi MMXX (Te Noni Ltd) which won Te Māngai Paho Best Reo Māori Programme 2021; Tikilounge Productions’ RNZ’ series Untold Pacific Historytook home NZ On Air Best Pasifika Programme 2021; composer Tom McLeod won Images & Sound Best Original Score 2021 for Fight for the Wild; while Ben Sinclair, Ray Beentjes, Chris Sinclair, Steve Finnigan were presented with Best Contribution to a Soundtrack 2021 for South Pacific Pictures and Shaftesbury’s The Sounds. See-Saw Films and Jump Film And TV’s Netflix series The New Legends of Monkey scooped up both the Best Costume Design 2021 and Best Makeup Design 2021 award, awarded to Liz McGregor and Susie Glass respectively. Glass has previously won the Best Makeup Design award in 2017 and 2018.