After months of waiting, scholarship results were released to thousands of students today with many Hawke's Bay school's celebrating their highest number of awards.
The prestigious secondary school academic award recognises the country's best students and offers financial rewards toward tertiary study.
Napier Girls High School received 49 scholarships of which two were outstanding - a result principal Dawn Ackroyd said was the best they'd had.
"It is a credit to the students who work incredibly hard, the support they get from their whanau, but also it is a reflection of our staff who work incredibly hard to create a very supportive environment where high quality teaching and learning can occur."
Year 13 student Sophie St Clair said it was a "good surprise" to achieve an outstanding scholarship in Biology and a scholarship in chemistry.
"I had ten exams so it was a bit difficult finding time for everything, so I could have put more work in; it was a bit of a cram towards the end."
The results were also record-breaking for Sacred Heart College where six students - a tenth of the year 13 cohort - gained seven scholarships, which Principal Maria Neville-Foster said was the most the school had ever received.
"Because we are a smaller school, the teachers can give more individual attention to the individual talents and work with the person themselves give more to them to help guide them through but obviously it comes down to the students commitment."
Their 2017 Dux Rebecca Mogey was the only student to receive two scholarships, which she gained in English and History.
"It was the first time I had done scholarship subjects so I wasn't really sure what to expect. But the study sessions we did with our school were really helpful and helped me to achieve the scholarships."
Havelock North's Woodford House was also celebrating its highest number of scholarships with ten awarded to Year 12 and 13 students.
Principal Julie Peterson said the results were a reflection of their holistic approach where the school community worked together - with individualised learning programmes developed "to allow each student the opportunity to achieve her personal best".
Year 13 student Madeleine Fenn said she had been "really happy" to be awarded scholarships for English and History at Year 12.
She said she had felt confident about her exam performance because of the amount of work she put in - from studying outside of school, and using the school's Scholarship Academy programme, which it has offered since 2015.
At Napier Boys High School, 22 scholarships were gained by students - including nine year 12 students, and one from year 11 "which augurs well for this year", principal Matthew Bertram said.
The overall level of achievement is consistent with 2016, while 2017 Dux Liam Silverwood was the schools "top performer", gaining four scholarships including two outstanding awards, in Chemistry, Statistics, Geography and Economics.
"Our highly performed geography department led the way again with twelve scholarship including one outstanding award," Mr Bertram said.
Havelock North High School principal Greg Fenton said they were delighted in the results of their 2017 Dux Ben Caldwell, who gained a scholarship in Chemistry, Statistics, Calculus and an Outstanding Scholarship in Physics.
However other students are moving away from these awards - in the past two years more students were seeking out scholarships awarded directly by Universities, with 35 students putting them to use this year.
Mr Fenton said students were seeing University scholarships as a more "realistic and achievable objective" while balancing other priorities.
Iona College joint acting principal Julie Shears said this was the first time their students had entered Scholarship Technology, with Gemma Burnside and Claire Gordon both receiving outstanding scholarships. Aimee Pitcher also gained a Scholarship in Painting.
-Students can check their results on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority's website at www.nzqa.govt.nz.