TVNZ claims victory in annual two-horse broadcasting race

New Zealand’s glitterati braved the elements and put on their best ‘take my photo’ smiles, Paul Henry used the c word and the broadcasting industry came together to pat itself on the back for a job well done over the last rather difficult 12 months as the winners of the Qantas Film and Television Awards were announced. And, in the usual stoush between the major networks, TVNZ came out on top.

With the help of some significant cost-cutting, TVNZ recently announced a profit in the middle of what chief cheese Rick Ellis called “the media industry’s biggest international downturn”, so it has already found favour with the bean counters. And it also found favour with the Qantas judges, winning eight of the 11 News & Current Affairs Awards, including Best News for the third year in a row (the first hat-trick in New Zealand television media awards history, apparently). It also took out Best Current Affairs, Best News Reporting and Journalist of the Year for Paul Hobbs for his coverage of the Samoan Tsunami. Who said bureaucrats were lazy?

Campbell Live won three awards, with John Campbell rightfully judged the Best News or Current Affairs Presenter (he deserved the award solely for his very entertaining response to NZ Herald speculation about the end of the show being nigh), Brook Sabin taking home Best Current Affairs reporting for a daily programme with his story, ‘Darryl’s Recovery’ and Catherine Hallinan winning Best Current Affairs editing with the same story.

Sunday’s Janet McIntyre and Joanne Mitchell won Best Current Affairs Reporting (Weekly Programme) for the interview with Fijian dictator Frank Bainimarama and Sunday won Best Current Affairs Series.

“We’re absolutely rapt. We strive to bring our viewers journalism excellence every day and winning Best News three times in a row really demonstrates our commitment to that,” says TVNZ’s head of news, current affairs and sport, Anthony Flannery. “I’m very proud of them all, it was world class work—quality current affairs at its best. We are all very grateful for the peer acknowledgement and it gives us the opportunity to thank the judges who sit in their lounges and vote for us every night–thank you for choosing to watch us again”.

The other big award TVNZ picked up was the inaugural ‘New Idea People’s Choice Award’, which was won by Paul Henry.

“Paul is one of the most outstanding broadcasters in world television,” says Flannery. “He may be polarising, at times he may be controversial, but ever increasing numbers of viewers love watching him. It is no surprise to me at all that he’s won the inaugural people’s choice award when you consider Breakfast’s audience has doubled in the last 18 months. I was also pleased to see that we had so many finalists with Paul, Kevin, Pippa and Bernie. To be honest it’s not often journalists make the most popular list.”

And Henry’s hilarious acceptance speech perfectly illustrated why he’s so popular. Surely even TV3’s news and current affairs man Mark Jennings couldn’t help but chortle.

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TVNZ also performed well in the General Television categories, winning 14 out of 24 accolades.

TV2’s drama series The Cult won six awards, including Cinematography, Best Original Music and Best Editing, as well as Best Actress for Danielle Cormack, Best Supporting Actress for Lisa Chappell and Best Contribution to Design. And Jam TV won four awards, including Best Information/Lifestyle Programme for Radar’s Patch, Best Director for South, and Best Observational Reality Series for Intrepid Journeys. Marcus Lush won Best Presenter for South.

TV3’s local stalwart Outrageous Fortune added a few more gongs to its list, with the South Pacific Pictures show winning Best Drama and James Griffin winning Best Script – Drama/Comedy Programme. The Jaquie Brown Diaries won Best Comedy programme or Series for the second year in a row, and Gerard Johnstone won Best Director – Drama/Comedy programme.

TV3’s other awards saw Best Entertainment Programme going to Satellite Media/Diva Productions for their work on The Topp Twins and the APO. Nigel Carpenter took out the Best Sports Broadcast for the coverage of the V8 Supercars Hamilton 400. Of course, this was presumably helped because 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, it doesn’t see the benefit in entering.

In the Film awards, Boy lived up to its box office success by winning seven trophies, including Qantas Best Film. And Taika Waititi took home an unprecedented trifecta, winning Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay for Boy, his second feature film.

Check all the awards winners out here.

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