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Wellington writer and Nelson photographer scoop top prizes

Wellington writer and Nelson photographer scoop the top prizes at the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards

16 May 2014 – Auckland – Wellington’s Mike White won the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award and Nelson’s Joshua Donnelly took the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award, presented tonight at the Travel Media Awards Gala Dinner at the Heritage Auckland’s Grand Tearoom.

The Cathay Pacific Travel Media awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography.

White took top spot with his story Peace of Paradise published in North & South magazine. White is a Wellington-based North & South staff writer and photographer.

The writing judge was Kate Simon from London. Kate Simon has been a journalist for 30 years and is the former travel editor of the British national newspaper the Independent on Sunday. She now contributes as a freelance travel writer to a variety of leading UK publications and runs her own communications company. Simon said “The winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year award is a writer of extraordinary talent with that elusive gift of a distinctive voice. Mike has a keen eye and an open ear, and a real understanding about how to use both to create a compelling story for the reader. He effortlessly relates what he sees and hears on the written page in a way that immerses us in the experience, offering a completely fresh insight into a destination, however familiar it may be.”

Kate Simon judged all travel writing categories excluding the New Travel Writer of the Year award, which was judged by Metro staff writer Steve Braunias. Steve has won the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award three times. The winner of the AA Directions New Travel Writer of the Year Award is Holly Wade of Auckland, for Battling Gales, Wind and Hills in the East Cape. Braunias said “Holly’s winning entry was a pleasure to read, right from the opening sentence about crying in front of a horse. There were such really good sentences all throughout as she wrote about a cycling tour of the East Cape. Generally the standard was very high this year, with stories set in California, St Petersburg, Thailand, Naples, and someplace near Napier called Otane. I’d not heard of Otane before but the writer did what good travel writers do – brought it to life.”

The winner of Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award is Joshua Donnelly, a teller with ANZ Richmond in Nelson and passionate photographer.

The photography awards were judged by Aaron K, an Auckland-based commercial photographer with over 14 years of industry experience. He’s also a past president and the current executive director of the Advertising and Illustrative Photographers’ Association; withChris Coad, a former winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the year (and runner up plenty of times too). Chris currently works as a freelance commercial and film stills photographer in Wellington. New Zealand Herald photographer Babiche Martens was our third photography panel judge. She shoots predominately for Viva magazine and has been working as a fashion, food and lifestyle photographer for 13 years. She is also a past winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the year award in 2013.

The Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award was judged on the entire portfolio of published images entered in every award category (not including the Best Unpublished Travel Award entries).

Aaron K said “We selected Joshua Donnelly as the winner because he used strong, evocative imagery to create a visually engaging travel story that felt authentic and uncontrived. His photos were well composed, expertly captured, and beautifully presented."

White and Donnelly each win double tickets to Cambodia flying Cathay Pacific with Adventure World's private Heritage Tour.

The awards were MCed by comedian Te Radar. (Andrew J Lumsden) is an award winning satirist, documentary maker, writer, stage and screen director, failed gardener, television presenter and amateur historian.

WINNERS:

Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year:
Winner: Mike White
Runner Up: James Borrowdale

Auckland Airport Award for the Best Travel Story over 1000 words
Winner: James Borrowdale
For Forest for the Trees
Published in Kia Ora magazine,
Runner up: Charles Anderson
For Time Stood Still Published in 1972 magazine

Westpac Award for the Best Travel Story under 1000 words
Winner: Fergus Blakiston
For Mirage of Heat and Emptiness
Published in The NZ Herald
Runner up: Fergus Blakiston
For Lonely Under the Sky
Published in The NZ Herald

Heritage Hotels Award for the Best Travel Story about New Zealand
Winner: Mike White
For Peace of Paradise
Published in North & South magazine,
Runner up: Pamela Wade
For A Passport into our History
Published in The NZ Herald

Interislander Award for the Best Story about a Journey
Winner: Jill Worrall
For Tunnel Vision
Published in The Timaru Herald
Runner Up: Paul Rush
For Time & Tides
Published in The NZ Listener
Runner Up: Alice Galletly
For Endless Summer
Published in AA Directions magazine

British High Commission and Tourism Ireland Award for the Best Travel Story about Britain and/or Ireland
Winner: Jill Worrall
For Game on for All Ireland
Published in The Timaru Herald

NZ Maori Tourism Award for the Best Travel Story about a Maori Tourism Experience
Winner: Liz Light
For A Tourist in Tuhoe Heartland
Published in The Herald on Sunday

AA Directions Magazine Award for the Best New Travel Writer
Winner: Holly Wade
For Battling Gales, Wind and Hills in the East Cape
Runner Up: Janean Cherkun
For The Most Unlikely Shoes
Highly Commended: Jill Robinson
For Art Deco Grinch No More
Brie Sherow
For The Fairy’s Tree
Linda Maser
For Morrison in Morrocco 1989


Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year
Winner: Joshua Donnelly
Runner Up: Anna Pearson

Auckland Airport Award for the Best Travel Image taken in New Zealand
Winner: Tessa Chrisp
For her image published in NZ Life & Leisure magazine ‘Ruapehu in the distance, Dan Steele checks his land for wild boar’
Runner Up: Pamela Wade
For her image published in The NZ Herald ‘The Otago Rail Trail is not just for cyclists: it's possible to ride horses along it as well’

Air Vanuatu and Mangoes Resort Award for the Best Travel Image taken Outside New Zealand
Winner: Anna Pearson
For her image published in The Press (Escape magazine) ‘Peru, Mike Watkins struggles back to base camp after climbing Nevado Pisco, in the Cordillera Blanca’
Runner Up: Amos Chapple
For his image published in The NZ Herald ‘Lenin still watches over the centre of Yakutsk, the world's coldest city’
Runner Up: Joshua Donnelly
For his image published in D Photo, taken in New Delhi at Jama Masjid Mosque, the photo shows worshipers praying in this incredible building

AA Directions Magazine Award for the Best Travel Image with People
Winner: Amos Chapple
For his image published in The Atlantic with the caption ‘Local man lost in thought as a cable car docks in Chiatura, Georgia. The cabin was the first cable car in the USSR’
Runner Up: Joshua Donnelly
For his image published in D Photo taken in the village of Tordi, Garh, India entitled ‘a man most likely in the lowest class of Indian society sews rice sacks together’
And: Anna Pearson
For her image published in The Nelson Mail ‘Antarctica, Kiwi man Father Michael Smith was the Catholic Chaplain at Chapel of the Snows at McMurdo station for a time in December 2012/January 2013’

NZ Maori Tourism Award for the Best Travel Image that Captures the Essence of Maori
Winner: Aaron Smale
For his image published in Mana magazine ‘Members of Kapa Haka group Te Hokowhitu a Tu prepare for a dress rehearsal, Pakirikiri Marae, Tokomaru Bay’

Heritage Boutique Hotels Award for the Best Unpublished Travel Image
Winner: Tanmoy Das
For his image ‘a devotee waits anxiously for a downpour of colour on him at holi celebration at Barsana village in India’
Runner Up: Paul Daly
For his image of ‘Trees at Auschwitz, Birkenau during winter, Poland’
And Joshua Donnelly
For his image of ‘Amber Fort, in Jaipur, Three Indians pose beautifully for the camera’
And Lindsay Keats
For his image of ‘Whirling Dervishes, Istanbul’


ends


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