Toni Street was voted New Zealand's television personality of the year at the New Zealand Television Awards, while Mike McRoberts was named news presenter of the year.

The event, held at SkyCity Theatre, marks the return of the awards after a five-year hiatus.

Hosted by Oliver Driver, the awards celebrate the best in local television, although the night's top prize - best drama - went to Australian series 800 Words, which is filmed and produced in New Zealand for the Australian market.

Street thanked her MediaWorks rivals who cheered as she received the award, noting that most of her TVNZ colleagues were not in the room.

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"Mike Hosking said he'd come but he had to wash his car," she joked.

Street admitted she has been reluctant to host Seven Sharp initially, thinking it may be "a poisoned chalice" but said she was now proud to host the programme and loved her job.

She also issued a challenge to her TVNZ bosses, who chose not to partake in the awards this year.

"It's great to have the awards back. Most of my newsroom is not here and I hope that changes next year."

TVNZ opted not to enter any of its news and current affairs programming into the awards, saying they didn't belong alongside entertainment programming and should be judged against other news outlets at the Canon Media Awards.

Meanwhile, Dean O'Gorman won best actor for his role in Hillary, while Kate Elliott claimed best actress.

Elliott took the opportunity to call out some casual sexism on stage, where a nameless female in a sparkly black dress handed out awards. "Next year perhaps we could have some glittering boys handing out the awards."

She then went on to celebrate Jean Batten, who she played in the biopic Jean.

"Jean Batten - what a woman. She was labelled a difficult woman. I would like to thank a whole group of difficult women... and let's not forget the glorious men who celebrate these difficult women."

The Topp Twins were named entertainment presenters of the year for their series Topp Country, while TVNZ's reboot of the 80s series Terry Teo won best children's programme.

Meanwhile, Three's 7 Days won best comedy and Maori Television's Songs From the Inside claimed best reality series.

Mike McRoberts with the award for Best Presenter, News and Current Affairs during the NZ TV Awards at SkyCity. Photo / Getty Images
Mike McRoberts with the award for Best Presenter, News and Current Affairs during the NZ TV Awards at SkyCity. Photo / Getty Images

Newsroom.co.nz beat Fairfax and Three's The Hui to win best current affairs programme for their investigation in the clandestine recording of a staff member by Todd Barclay, and Newshub won best news coverage for its work around the Kaikoura earthquake last year.