Woman’s Day takes the Magazine Awards crown, New Zealand Geographic close behind

Almost 300 people from the magazine and media industry ventured to the Auckland War Memorial Museum last night to celebrate the best writers, designers, photographers, editors, sales folk and titles in New Zealand. And it was one of the country’s most popular mags, Bauer Media’s Woman’s Day, that left with the biggest haul.

  • See all winners below.

In his intro speech, MPA chair and Bauer Media chief executive Paul Dykzeul was typically positive about the state of the industry and the important role good journalism plays in society. Once again, he reiterated what a great achievement it was to have so many New Zealanders still willing to pay for the print products created by those in the room. And he whipped out a few stats to show the industry is still in good health here, with ad revenue share holding firm at nine percent when other markets have fallen dramatically, the second highest per capita rate of magazine readership in the world, $165 million spent on magazines at retail last year and the top ten magazines in the country reaching more people than the top ten TV shows.

Dykzeul also recognised the hard work that’s done behind-the-scenes every day by production managers, finance teams, receptionists, assistants, HR, IT and the range of suppliers. But, as per usual, he didn’t shy away from telling it like it is either, saying the MPA was disappointed with a decrease in the number of entries compared to last year—and the quality of some of them. He also admitted the entry process needs to be streamlined and timings need to be addressed.

As for the winners, Woman’s Day took both supreme awards—best magazine of the year and best editor of the year—and it was the royal baby coverage that seemed to impress the judges the most. 

“With its royal baby story, this magazine wasn’t just first in New Zealand, it was first in the world. Sido Kitchin is a world-class editor whose drive is unrivalled. Highly respected by her team, her company and the industry, she provided a compelling entry by any measure. She didn’t just live up to her readers’ expectations, she gave them the wow factor.”

The mass-market weeklies have had a rough time of it in recent years as people increasingly head online to get their celebrity fixes and general news. Woman’s Day’s circulation has been heading steadily down over the years, and it currently sits at 93,000 average net paid, but Bauer Media pulled out all the stops to get the royal baby ‘Souvenir Issue’ onto the shelves five days earlier than usual last year. The magazine was available six hours after the first pictures of the baby came through and more than 12 hours before the print version of the NZ Herald. NZ Woman’s Weekly, its main competitor at the time (it’s now within the Bauer stable) came out two days later on Friday afternoon. And in the world of magazines, time is money. 

Sales of the issue, which was 152 pages compared to the normal 104 page run, were 58 percent above average for the previous six weeks (the royal wedding issue saw sales increase by 65 percent). And, as a result, Bauer decided to print another 15,000 copies. 

Kowhai Media’s New Zealand Geographic also had a very good night. It took the prestigious best news and current affairs magazine award and James Frankham won best news and current affairs editor in the same category (Metro’s Simon Wilson took a highly commended). It also won best use of news and current affairs photography for Treasure Islands and best marketing campaign for its Photographer of the Year Awards.

Fairfax’s perennial performer NZ House and Garden took lifestyle magazine of the year and Sally Duggan won editor of the year in the same category. Richard Brunton also took best designer in that category. 

Boating NZ was named sport/leisure magazine of the year and Rebecca Hayter was named editor of the year in the same category. And Idealog rounded out the best magazine awards, winning best business/trade title for the eighth year in a row (Barker’s 1972 magazine by Hex Media was named a finalist in the business/trade category, but as the custom published title didn’t really fit in there, it was given a special judge’s commendation award). 

New Zealand Weddings also got a good haul, taking four awards including best publishing innovation for its Fashion Week Experience and best designer in specialist titles for Sam Smith, as well as best use of photography and best cover for its Weddings Planner in the celebrity/women’s interest category. 

Telecom and Dynamo took the best commercial use of magazines with its Spotify campaign in Rip it Up and Bauer’s personalised Unitec magazine was highly commended.

In the sales excellence category, Elaine Millar from Fairfax Media took the win, with Krista Rostenberg from Bauer Media earning a highly commended. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to trade magazine legend Bud Little. He founded Marketplace Press in 1983 and 3Media in 2007, and launched The New Zealand Hardware Journal, as well as a number of other titles that continue to this day.

In his speech, he talked about his enduring love for the industry, the many changes he saw during his 51 years working in newspapers and magazines, the need for constant evolution and the pride in seeing his children Simon and Andrea take over the business±and take it up a notch.

And MC Oliver Driver backed him up, saying he also loved those 1970s mags and had a few of them under his mattress. 

2014 Magazine Awards 



Highly Commended 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Bud Little 

Best Use of Photography – Celebrity & Women’s Interest 

New Zealand Weddings, Love at Veronica Bay, Autumn 2013 

Best Use of Photography – Lifestyle 

Dish, Fabulous Fungi, June/July 2013 

Best Use of Photography – News & Current Affairs 

New Zealand Geographic, Treasure Islands, July/August 2013 

Most Creative Commercial Use of Magazines 

Telecom, Dynamo & Rip It Up 

Unitec, Bauer Media 

Best Marketing Campaign 

New Zealand Geographic, Photographer of the Year 2013 

Sales Excellence 

Elaine Millar, Fairfax Media 

Krista Rostenberg, Bauer Media 

Best Publishing Innovation 

New Zealand Weddings, Fashion Week Experience 2013 

Pro Photographer, Pro App 

Best Columnist – Business & Trade 

Pattrick Smellie, Idealog 

Best Columnist – Consumer 

Diana Wichtel, New Zealand Listener 

Best Journalist – Celebrity & Women’s Interest 

Suzanne McFadden, Australian Women’s Weekly 

Rachel Russell, NEXT 

Best Journalist – Lifestyle 

Ann Warnock, New Zealand Life & Leisure 

Rebekah White, Good 

Best Journalist – News & Current Affairs 

Rebecca Macfie, New Zealand Listener 

Donna Chisholm, North & South 

Best Designer- Business & Trade 

Marc Backwell, Pro Photographer 

Best Designer – Consumer 

Richard Brunton, New Zealand House & Garden 

Fiona Lascelles, Cuisine 

Best Designer – Specialist Titles ( Circulation under 12,000) 

Samantha Smith, New Zealand Weddings 

Marc Backwell, New Zealand Geographic; Tracey Ellin, Good 

Best Cover – Business & Trade 

Pro Photographer, August/September 2013 

Idealog, March/April 2013; New Zealand Doctor, August 2013 

Best Cover – Celebrity & Women’s Interest 

New Zealand Weddings, Planner 

Australian Women’s Weekly, October 2013 

Best Cover – Lifestyle 

Cuisine, May 2013 

Good, January/February 2014 

Best Cover – News & Current Affairs 

New Zealand Listener, May 4 2013 

The Hobson, March 2014; New Zealand Geographic March 2014 

Best Cover – Sport & Leisure 

Sky Sport, June 2013 

Best Editor – Sport & Leisure 

Rebecca Hayter, Boating New Zealand 

Best Editor – Celebrity & Women’s Interest 

Sido Kitchin, Woman’s Day 

Melissa Gardi, New Zealand Weddings 

Best Editor – Lifestyle 

Sally Duggan, New Zealand House & Garden 

Jeremy Hansen, Home New Zealand 

Best Editor – News & Current Affairs 

James Frankham, New Zealand Geographic 

Simon Wilson, Metro 

Supreme Editor of the Year 

Sido Kitchin, Woman’s Day 

Best Magazine – Business & Trade 

Idealog, Tangible Media 

New Zealand Business, Adrenalin Publishing 

Best Magazine – Celebrity & Women’s Interest 

Woman’s Day, Bauer Media 

OHbaby!, OHbaby! Limited 

Best Magazine – Lifestyle 

New Zealand House & Garden, Fairfax Media 

Good Health Choices, Bauer Media; Good, Tangible Media 

Best Magazine – News & Current Affairs 

New Zealand Geographic, Kowhai Media 

Best Magazine – Sport & Leisure 

Boating New Zealand, Fairfax Media 

Best Magazine – Judges Commendation 

1972, Barkers, Hex Media 

Supreme Magazine of the Year 

Woman’s Day, Bauer Media 

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