Hawke's Bay Today won the Best Newspaper Front Page category at the Voyager Media Awards in Auckland on Friday night.
A selection of front pages from 2017 were submitted as part of the entry with judges hailing the standout front page depiction of the 2016 gastro crisis as an "inspired concept".
The front page from May 11 last year focused on the government inquiry following the Havelock North water contamination in 2016. It included the inquiry's findings, admissions, failings and blunders associated with the crisis.
Judges said Hawke's Bay Today's entry was a "strong portfolio" and a "standout". They heaped praise the front page's "clever, eye-catching, visual treatment to convey a complex serious issue".
Deputy editor Mark Story said the win was one to celebrate.
"It's a nice category to pick up because front pages are the work of so many people.
"To complete a front page we need reporters, photographers, designers, sub-editors and a night-crew to pull it all together.
"It's great to see such a concerted effort recognised."
He said the newspaper's associate editor Rachel Wise also deserved praise for making it through to the finals stage of the humorous/satire category in opinion writing for the "highly readable and lively wit" she puts into her Saturday columns.
The Weekend Herald was named overall Newspaper of the Year and nzherald.co.nz named best news website. The Herald's investigative reporter Matt Nippert was also named business journalist of the year.
Napier writer and film-maker Peter Wells also won the best first-person essay category.