The Herald on Sunday is now New Zealand's best-read, number one Sunday newspaper, as it and the daily New Zealand Herald buck global trends in recording newspaper readership growth.

The NZ Herald, under editor Murray Kirkness, has grown 1.5% on the previous quarter, to 404,000 readers and the Herald on Sunday, under editor Miriyana Alexander, by 1.3% to 303,000 readers, according to new Nielsen results released today.

The Herald on Sunday now has 8000 more readers than the Sunday Star-Times, making it the best-read Sunday paper nationally for the first time in its 12-year history. Its market share also increased 1.6 points to 50.6%.

NZME Managing Editor Shayne Currie says the Weekend Herald has also experienced growth following its redesign and revamp late last year.

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Readership has again surpassed the 400,000 mark, increasing 3.8 per cent on the previous quarter to 412,000 readers. This includes growth in the valuable primary and secondary audiences, as well as stronger tertiary readership.

"These are terrific results - it's an especially exciting day for the Herald on Sunday. The paper's almost always held a strong readership lead in Auckland and the Northern Region, but to be now number one for all of New Zealand is a credit to Miriyana and the editorial and circulation teams dedicated to listening to and meeting readers' needs."

NZME's newspaper brand audience (including regionals) is 2,123,000, up 5.9 per cent on last year. The Herald's monthly brand audience is 1,930,000, an increase of 8.6 per cent year on year.

This growth continues to be underpinned by strong digital figures with nzherald.co.nz attracting 1.5 million UAs in January. This was up 8 per cent on December 2015 and up 22 per cent on January 2015.

"This is really pleasing and shows our investment in our new, integrated newsroom - and securing and retaining outstanding journalists and editors across news, business, sport and entertainment - is paying off," says Currie.

"We have a number of exciting new initiatives set to deliver even better journalism. This latest growth is only the start - it's a great time to be delivering stories and content in innovative and engaging formats."