Six60 were the big winners at this year's Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, taking away five Tui at a low-key ceremony at Spark Arena.

The group, who made history this year as the first New Zealand band to sell out Western Springs Stadium, took home the awards for Best Group, Highest Selling Album, Highest Selling Single and Radio Airplay Record of the Year Award.

They were also the winners of the People's Choice award, which was opened up to all finalists for the first time ever.

Hosts Stan Walker and Kanoa Lloyd took a short while to warm into the ceremony, but eventually warmed into a natural chemistry - though their jokes were often hampered for the wider audience by a poor sound system.

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Singer-songwriter Marlon Williams was one of a number of nominees absent tonight (the singer is currently on tour in Europe), with his manager accepting his awards on his behalf. Kimbra had to accept her award for best pop artist via video, which featured none other than David Byrne presenting her with the Tui.

But performances from a number of artists livened up the ceremony - including strong vocals from rising pop star Robinson, who sang her hit Nothing to Regret. The best performance of the night came from Jess B, who recruited DJ half-queen and and a group of incredible backup dancers to deliver a viscerally thrilling display of her hit Set it Off.

Walker had his own turn performing, joined by a stunning troupe of backing vocalists. Earlier, Drax Project offered the audience an taste of their nominated song Woke Up Late, a strong performance bolstered by a dazzling light display and confetti blasts.

Williams added two Tuis to his shelf tonight, winning Best Solo Artist and Album of the Year for his critically acclaimed sophomore record Make Way For Love. Williams had already received Best Music Video for Vampire Again at the 2018 Artisan Awards.

Other multi-wins included Drax Project, who were recognised as Breakthrough Artist of the Year while also winning Single of the Year for their hit Woke Up Late.

Experimental soul artist Troy Kingi won both Best Māori Artist and Best Soul/R&B Artist following his acclaimed concept album Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron.

Alien Weaponry, the young rock band blending thrash metal and te reo Māori, opened the awards with a performance of Kai Tangata. The group was also awarded the Tui for Best Rock Artist.

Brooke Ligertwood, née Fraser, received the 2018 International Achievement award; the singer won a Grammy earlier this year for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song through her work with the international church Hillsong.

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Kimbra won Best Pop Artist off the back of her dynamic new record Primal Heart, while alt-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra won Best Alternative Artist following their acclaimed fourth record Sex and Food.

Hip-hop supergroup SWIDT followed up their 2017 wins by taking out Best Hip Hop Artist, while Best Electronic Artist was awarded to Chores and Best Roots Artist to Sons of Zion.

Hip-hop stars Upper Hutt Posse were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame and received the 2018 Legacy Award.

Overall, with no major pop artists up for contention this year, the awards felt like a more quiet affair than normal. But the love for New Zealand was evident throughout the night, in both acceptance speeches and presentations.

Presenter Suzy Cato offered the audience a nostalgic treat, singing the key lines from her iconic theme tune See You Later live on stage.

The whole reason for such a ceremony was perhaps best summed up by presenter Jesse Mulligan, who put it beautifully: "at some point my favourite New Zealand artists just became my favourite artists."

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES/WINNERS

Album of the Year

Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love

Alien Weaponry - Tu

Julia Deans - We Light Fire

Six60 - Six60

Tami Neilson - Sassafrass!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food

Single of the Year

Drax Project - Woke Up Late

Mitch James - 21

Robinson - Nothing To Regret

Six60 - Don't Give It Up

Sons Of Zion - Drift Away

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Hunnybee

Solo Artist

Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love

Julia Deans - We Light Fire

Kimbra - Primal Heart

Tami Neilson - Sassafrass!

Group

Six60 - Six60

Alien Weaponry - Tu

Drax Project - Noon

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food

Breakthrough Artist

Drax Project

JessB

L.A.B.

Robinson

Pop

Kimbra

Drax Project

Six60

Alternative

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Marlon Williams

Wax Chattels

Rock

Alien Weaponry

Cairo Knife Fight

Skinny Hobos

Hip Hop

SWIDT

JessB

Kings

Soul / R&B

Troy Kingi

Israel Starr

Vince Harder

Roots

Sons of Zion

Katchafire

Tomorrow People

Maori

Troy Kingi

Alien Weaponry

Katchafire

Electronic

Chores

Arma Del Amor

Boycrush

Classical

Eve de Castro Robinson

Henry Wong Doe

Michael Houstoun

Worship

Equippers Revolution

EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth

Kane Adams

Children's

Levity Beet - My Best Friend Jake Is A Cyborg

Folk

Albi & The Wolves - One Eye Open

Pacific

Ladi6 - Royal Blue 3000

Country

Reb Fountain - Hopeful and Hopeless

Jazz

Umar Zakaria – Fearless Music

Highest Selling NZ Album

Six60

Highest Selling NZ Single

Six60 – 'Don't Give It Up'

Radio Airplay

Six60

International Achievement

Brooke Ligertwood, née Fraser

Legacy Award

Upper Hutt Posse