TV3 news frontman John Campbell has won best presenter at the 2003 New Zealand Television Awards.

Campbell won more public votes than TVNZ newsreader - and last year's winner - Judy Bailey and weatherman Jim Hickey to take away the "Afta" at the ceremony in Auckland tonight.

Campbell also won best presenter at the Qantas Media Awards for broadcast journalism in May.


The only other publicly-voted category saw TV3's The Strip win best new programme over Unsolved and How's Life.

In the other categories - decided by judges from the Academy of Film and Television Arts of New Zealand- TV2's Auckland-based crime series Street Legal dominated the drama section with six wins from its nine nominations.

Among its wins were best drama series, best episode, best actress for Katherine Kennard and best supporting actor for Charles Mesure.

The next largest haul went to Mataku, TV3's series of one-off dramas based on Maori ghost stories which while leading the number of nominations with 14, won four Aftas, all in behind-the-camera categories.

As well as best new programme, The Strip peeled off two more wins - Renee Elwood for best juvenile actor or actress and best script for a single episode.

Among the more surprising victories was the late-night gay and lesbian magazine show Queer Nation's win for best factual series over its prime-time high-rating competition Country Calendar and Kids Hospital.

Likewise, The Living Room, a short-lived music show which showed late at night on TV3 won the best lifestyle show over the prime-time institutions Mucking In and Maggie's Garden Show.

Veteran broadcaster and journalist Marcia Russell was given the inaugural lifetime achievement Afta for her significant contribution to New Zealand television.

The winners in full:

Best presenter: John Campbell

Best documentary: No Mean Feet

Best episode, drama series or serial: Street Legal Best drama series or serial: Street Legal

Best entertainment programme: Westfield Style Pasifika

Best entertainment series: Mo Show

Best documentary series: 2050 - What if New Zealand Became A State of Australia?

Best factual series: Queer Nation

Best lifestyle series: The Living Room

Best comedy programme: Syd Jackson - The Life & Times of a Maori Activist

Best Maori language programme: Sciascia

Best new programme (people's choice): The Strip series 1

Best actress: Katherine Kennard, (Street Legal)

Best supporting actor: Charles Mesure (Street Legal)

Best actor: Jeffrey Thomas (Mercy Peak)

Best supporting actress: Alison Bruce (Mercy Peak)

Best juvenile actor/actress: Renee Elwood (The Strip series 1)

Best comedy performance: Elizabeth Hawthorne (Spin Doctors 3)

Best script, single episode of a drama series or serial: The Strip Series 1 (Paul Boock & Kathryn Burnett)

Best script, comedy: Spin Doctors series 3 (Roger Hall, James Griffin, Dave Armstrong)

Best narration script, non-drama: The Lost Dinosaurs of New Zealand (Bryan Bruce & Ian Johnstone)

Best director, drama: Peter Burger (Mataku)

Best director, documentary: Dan Salmon (2050 - What if Maori Gain Sovereignty, Tino Rangitiratanga?)

Best director, factual/entertainment programme: Mark Albiston (The Living Room)

Best camera, drama: Fred Renata (Street Legal)

Best camera, non-drama: Nick Finlayson (2050 What if New Zealand Becomes a State of Australia?)

Best editing, drama: Allannah Milne (Mataku)

Best editing, non-drama: Bryan Shaw (2050 What if New Zealand Becomes a State of Australia?)

Best Original Music: Don McGlashan (Street Legal)

Best contribution to a soundtrack: Lloyd Canham & Nick Burton (Mataku)

Best production design: Miro Harre (Mataku)

Best costume design: Karol London (The Dress Up Box)

Best contribution to design: Catriona Campbell (Willy Nilly)

Lifetime achievement Award in Broadcasting: Marcia Russell