Hawke's Bay Today picked up the hotly contested Editor of the Year and Best Front Page honours at this week's APN Regional Media Awards.
The titles were among a total of nine plaudits, including motor sales consultant Gary Locke as Sales Person of the Year - and advertising manager Jo Dryden as Digital Innovator of the Year.
The awards, announced at a dinner in Auckland on Wednesday night, saw seven APN regional newspapers vying for the annual titles.
Editor of the Year winner Andrew Austin said the awards were a result of "hard work by the entire Hawke's Bay team".
"All credit should go to the editorial and advertising teams as a whole," Mr Austin said.
"It has been a year of much change, but all staff at Hawke's Bay Today have risen to the challenge and this is reflected in the number of awards won."
The 2012 front pages included the massive inferno at Hastings' Hawk Packaging, the Tongariro eruption and a listeria outbreak at Hawke's Bay Hospital.
The editorial team also boasted photographer Paul Taylor's highly commended placing in the Daily Photographer of the Year category, and another highly commended honour in the Daily Community Involvement category for its series on the major rebuilding project at Realpeople@Rowan.
Judges praised Mr Austin's mentoring of young reporters, his oversight of the newspaper's conversion to compact form and community involvement.
Gary Locke was also singled out for a 25-year commitment to the company, his "fresh thinking" and new concepts for clients.
Hawke's Bay Today general manager Russell Broughton said he was "thrilled" with the awards.
"It's particularly notable given the newspaper's compact conversion and the work that went into making that a big success," Mr Broughton said.
"All the awards were very well-deserved and reflect the professionalism of our staff."
Editor of the Year - Andrew Austin.
Daily Photographer of the Year - Paul Taylor (Highly Commended).
Daily Newspaper Front Page of the Year.
Daily Community Involvement (Highly Commended)
Best ROP advertisement 38 x7 or smaller - runner-up
Best ROP campaign
Best composite page - runner-up
Digital Innovator of the Year - Jo Dryden.
Sales Person of the Year - Gary Locke.