Hawke's Bay Today photographer Paul Taylor has won an award at New Zealand's prestigious media awards.

Mr Taylor, Hawke's Bay Today's deputy chief photographer, won Best General Photo at the Canon Media Awards in Auckland last night.

Mr Taylor's winning photo depicted the owner of a car that ended up in Saltwater Creek, Napier, leaping to dry land after collecting his belongings in August, 2016.

Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin said the award was "fully deserved".


"Paul Taylor is a true professional and has that ability to be in the right place at the right time. We are very proud of him and the work he does."

Hawke's Bay Today and Hawke's Bay Today Weekend was also a finalist for Best Coverage of a Major News Event for Havelock North's water contamination and Hawke's Bay Today was up for Newspaper of the Year (up to 30,000 circulation). The Nelson Mail was the winner of the latter award.

Mr Austin congratulated the winner, but said he was very proud that the paper had been selected as a finalist.

"It was a privilege to be a finalist for the second year in a row. For us it is all about delivering a quality product to our readers. We will always try to cover the local news as comprehensively as possible."

More than 350 finalists were selected in 69 categories in the 2017 Canon Media Awards with a team of nearly 60 judges from New Zealand, Australia, UK and America working in pairs to choose the winners and finalists from thousands of individual pieces of work.

Awards director Jane Phare said judges struggled at times to select winners from an outstanding selection of work. In some cases, where the decision was close, a runner-up was awarded.

Entries to the awards hit a new record this year with 2174 submissions, a 35 per cent increase on last year.

The awards, staged by the Newspaper Publishers' Association and sponsored by Canon New Zealand, were announced at a gala dinner at The Langham in Auckland last night