The winner of the Walters Prize, New Zealand's biggest art award, has been announced in Auckland as Shannon Te Ao.
The Wellington-based artist was dubbed the country's best at a black tie awards dinner at the Auckland Art Gallery on Friday night.
He was awarded the 2016 award for two artworks; video Two Shoots That Stretch Far Out and installation Okea Ururoatia (Never Say Die), which is made of living plants, furniture and lights.
Mr Te Ao says he still can't come to grips with his achievements and the award is years of hard work paying off.
"The exhibition started in about 2014 and continues today and the work has been shown in over ten countries," he says.
Mr Te Ao will also pocket a cheque for $50,000 with the honour.