The Bay of Plenty Times has been named New Zealand's Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation) for the second year in a row.
The paper received the award at the prestigious Canon Media Awards in Auckland last night.
This year's entry was based on weekday and weekend editions, which showed strength in local news and views, with front pages that included Mahe Drysdale winning gold at the London Olympics, a brutal murder in Judea, the special Rena anniversary edition and the drug raid explosions at Katikati.
The judges of the Canon Newspaper of the Year categories were Melvin Mansell and Mark Hollands.
Mansell is a long-time editor of the Adelaide Advertiser and also editorial director for News Limited of South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territories.
Hollands is the former chief executive of the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (Panpa) and was recently appointed chief executive of the Australian newspaper marketing arm, Newspaper Works.
Both judges were unanimous in their choice of the Bay of Plenty Times to win this award.
Mansell commented: "What a great regional daily. Pro-active, lively, driven, good presentation. Stands up in any company."
Hollands said: "Bay of Plenty [Times] produced top-class newspapers.
"Its overall approach to news, design and community engagement stood out through its entries. Big bold lay-outs, arguably crying out for a tabloid format, caught the eye nonetheless."
Last night's award follows the paper being a finalist for Newspaper of the Year (10,000-25,000 circulation) for the past three years at the prestigious Panpa awards.
Bay of Plenty Times editor Scott Inglis said the paper was honoured to receive the Canon award for the second year in a row, given the number of high-calibre regional daily papers in New Zealand.
He paid tribute to the paper's editorial team.
"Winning this award again reflects the hard work and quality journalism our editorial staff deliver to readers," he said.
"We have used this strong platform to build a new-look morning compact paper this year. Readers can be assured they are receiving a quality product."
Mr Inglis also thanked readers and advertisers for their continued support.
"The Bay of Plenty Times, in both weekday and weekend editions, continues to be the region's news leader. We are proud to serve the Bay."