The New Zealand Herald has enjoyed a very successful night at the Voyager Media Awards and has been described as a "powerhouse news operation".

It bagged the two biggest prizes of the night, winning the newspaper of the year and website of the year awards.

The Herald's weekday newspaper was also awarded the newspaper of the year award with a circulation of more than 30,000.

It is the 10th time in 13 years the Herald titles have claimed New Zealand's overall Voyager Newspaper of the Year.


The judges said they could not look past the Herald's "consistency and comprehensiveness" and its record of setting the news agenda.

Meanwhile, NZME's won website of the year and best news website/app - a rare digital double.

The Herald impressed the judges with its "bold strategy for expanding its audience and a powerhouse news operation" which dominated the biggest moments of the year.

And in regards to the best news website/app, the judges said the Herald led the way on the biggest stories of 2019, including the Christchurch mosque shooting.

"The Herald best captured the impact of the 'They Are Us' message on the Christchurch murders in a strong field," the judges said.

The Christchurch mosque shootings, the eruption of Whakaari White Island, the SkyCity fire and the three sporting world cups were among the biggest stories of 2019.

NZME managing editor Shayne Currie paid tribute to NZME's newsrooms throughout New Zealand after the successful night.

"From the Christchurch mosque attacks to the tragedy of the Whakaari White Island eruption, and from the major sporting events to countless investigations and hard-hitting journalism, our reporters and teams have excelled," he said.


"That's been further amplified with our relentlessly excellent coverage and analysis of the COVID-19 crisis."

NZ Herald journalists also had a successful evening, including political editor Audrey Young who was named political journalist of the year.

Meanwhile, Alan Gibson was judged photographer of the year - of whom the judges said he nailed every aspect of photography with his entry.

'Fighting the demon', the inside story on New Zealand's meth crisis, won best innovation in digital storytelling and was runner up for best editorial campaign or project.

Elsewhere, NZ Herald journalists also snapped up $14,500 worth of scholarships.

Emma Russell won the $4000 junior nib health journalism scholarship and the $6000 senior nib scholarship went to Nicholas Jones.

Natalie Akoorie was a joint winner of the regional journalism scholarship, bagging $4500 from Google News Initiative.

The nib scholarship would enable Russell to look at how an independent Canadian agency improved cancer survival rates, compared to New Zealand.

And Jones' scholarship would allow him to investigate the implications of the diabetes epidemic in New Zealand and its Pacific neighbours.

Russell also won an award for reporting - social issues, including health and education, meanwhile, Jones won feature writer of the year, short form.

The judges said Russell's 'Cancer disgrace' series was journalism "at its best", mixing both heart-wrenching stories with hard data.

Christchurch-based reporter Kurt Bayer was runner-up for best reporting general.

Michelle Langstone won best interview or profile, Simon Wilson finished runner-up in opinion writer of the year and Steve Braunius won general feature writer of the year.

The Voyager Media Awards were held virtually this evening on the internet after the usual black-tie event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Seeby Woodhouse, chief executive of Voyager Internet, wanted to acknowledge essential workers and journalists for their efforts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Journalists are the essential workers for truth, working tirelessly through webs of conflicting information to get to the truth and in many cases, putting their lives on the line to inform us, the public," he said.

"It is vital for a functioning society to have accurate, impartial reporting for the justice system, for democracy, for scientific reporting and especially in this time of Covid-19."