NZ Radio Awards 2023 celebrate local radio talent

The 2023 NZ Radio Awards, held by the Radio Broadcasters Association (RBA), showcased the remarkable talent and accomplishments within New Zealand’s radio industry.

The awards acknowledged the hard work within all aspects of the radio industry celebrating the on-air personalities, programming, news and sports coverage, promotions, creativity and production, sales and community involvement.

NZ Radio Awards Chair, Jana Rangooni says: It is great to be able celebrate the work of so many talented people across the industry tonight. New Zealand has one of the most diverse and competitive radio landscapes in the world which is one of the reasons all our radio stations stay so relevant to the daily lives of listeners. The teams work hard and with a huge amount of passion. All the industry deserves credit for that, as well as tonight’s winners.”

First place honors for ‘Network Station of the Year’ went to Newstalk ZB, ‘Local Station of the Year’ went to 1XX in Whakatane and ‘The Blackie’ Award to The Rock Network for “Rog’s 30th Anniversary”.

The industry’s premier award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Radio’ was awarded to Barry Soper, considered one the country’s most experienced political broadcast journalists.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) claimed an impressive array of accolades, including six out of the eight premier awards. MediaWorks also demonstrated its prowess, securing victories in 25 categories.

RNZ, the country’s public broadcaster, also shone at the awards, clinching seven awards. Additionally, one of RNZ’s presenters, recognised for her exceptional contributions to broadcasting, received a tribute.

Jason Winstanley, NZME Chief Radio Officer, says the Awards celebrate the best of the best in New Zealand radio, and the scale of talent across the country’s networks and stations demonstrates the strength of the radio industry.

“This is a fantastic time for radio and for digital audio and shows the industry is at its strongest point. So much hard work goes into keeping a radio station going 24/7, and it’s awesome to celebrate those who are putting in the hard yards, all of whom have a passion for this much-loved media platform that we live and breathe every day,” says Winstanley.

Newstalk ZB took out the most awards of any station including Station of the Year – Network. Mike Hosking was named the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year and won Best Talk Presenter – Breakfast or Drive. Marcus Lush was awarded Best Talk Presenter – Non-Breakfast or Drive and Senior Political Correspondent Barry Soper was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Radio.  

Newstalk ZB’s other awards included Niva Retimanu – Best Newsreader, Jason Pine – Best Sports Reader, Presenter or Commentator, new ZB Political Editor Jason Walls was joint winner of Best New Broadcaster – Journalist and the team behind Heather du Plessis-Allan’s Drive won Best Show Producer or Producing Team – Talk Show. Newstalk ZB and GOLD Sport were awarded Best Sports Story – Team Coverage for coverage of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

ZM’s Fletch, Vaughan & Hayley once again took out the hotly contested Best Music Breakfast Show – Network Award.  

NZME’s small but mighty sales team in Christchurch took out Sales Team of the Year, and NZME Video Producer Josh Hubbard won Best New Broadcaster – Off Air. NZME’s Creative Team also took out Best Effective Commercial Campaign for Does it do what a Daikin does?

NZME Chief Executive Michael Boggs congratulated all winners across all categories and networks. 

“It was fantastic to come together as an industry tonight to celebrate the very best in radio in this country. I’m especially proud of our NZME team a lot of mahi goes into operating a successful radio and digital audio network that spans multiple stations covering news, sport, music and entertainment.  It was awesome to see our talented teams and individuals recognised this evening.”

MediaWorks stations The Breeze, The Edge, More FM, The Rock and Today FM were all big winners with receiving recognition across multiple categories.

The Rock’s Roger Farrelly was recognised for his exceptional services to broadcasting with The Rock also picking up the prestigious ‘Blackie Award’ for their campaign which celebrated Rog’s 30 years on air while the Breeze stalwart Robert Scott was awarded Best Music Host, with The Breeze Network also being recognised for the Best Content Director / Content Team and Best Network Station Promotion for The Breeze Jingle.

John, Flash & Toast from Northland’s More FM Breakfast club took out the accolade for Best Local Team Show for the second year in a row, with their network colleagues Jay-Jay and Flynny receiving the award for Best Music Network Team.

The MediaWorks creative team was recognised multiple times taking out the Best Creative Commercial
Campaign, Best Commercial Production, Best Single Commercial and Best Voice Talent awards.

MediaWorks interim CEO Wendy Palmer says: “it was fantastic to be able to get together in person this year to celebrate the depth and breadth of talent in Aotearoa’s radio industry.
“It was particularly pleasing to see some of our local teams shine, demonstrating the continuing strength of community radio. So much hard work and creativity goes into bringing the magic of radio to audiences every day. I’m super-proud of the MediaWorks teams recognised and would like to congratulate all of the winners tonight.”

RNZ celebrated a series of victories at the Awards. In the realm of podcasts, the prestigious title of Best Factual Podcast – Episodic was awarded to both RNZ’s “Our Changing World” and “The Detail,” highlighting their storytelling prowess. Meanwhile, “The Aotearoa History Show” claimed the coveted title of Best Factual Podcast – Seasonal.

Continuing this success, RNZ’s “Country Life” triumphed in the highly competitive category of Best Daily or Weekly Feature – Factual, showcasing a commitment to delivering compelling content to its loyal listeners. Demonstrating expertise in documentary-style programming, Charlotte Cook, the presenter of RNZ’s “Midday Report,” impressed the judging panel and secured the top spot for Best Documentary or Factual Talk Feature with her podcast, “Hair and Loathing.”

RNZ’s musical prowess also garnered recognition as their recording of “Ka Pō, Ka Ao,” a collaboration between Rob Ruha and the Auckland Philharmonia, was crowned Best Music Feature. This recording, capturing the essence of a special Matariki concert, not only triumphed at the NZ Radio Awards but also recently earned a gold medal at the New York Festival’s Radio Awards.

For the full list of winners visit https://www.rba.co.nz/nz-radio-awards/winners.

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