As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

The biggest night of the year for Kiwi music, the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (VNZMAs), has taken place at Auckland's Spark Arena. 

Laura Daniel and Jon Toogood hosted the event, celebrating the very best of New Zealand music from the last year.

Many of Aotearoa's most recognisable musicians were in attendance along with plenty of other celebrities. Before the event, the stars rocked the red carpet and showcased some of the hottest looks for the coming summer.

The night featured performances from the likes of Th' Dudes, The Beths, Mitch James, Avantdale Bowling Club, Troy Kingi, Benee, Hollie Smith and Teeks.

Nineteen-year-old 'Soaked' hitmaker Benee scooped up four Tuis for her contributions to New Zealand music over the last year.

Click here for the full list of Thursday's winners.

The live updates have now finished.

10:55pm - And that's a wrap, folks! What a night.

10:48pm - Savage has put out a heartfelt message to those struggling with mental health.

Album of the Year has been taken out by Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club's eponymous hip-hop album, Avantdale Bowling Club, after winning Best Hip-Hop Artist earlier in the night.

An impassioned haka honoured Scott's big win. Avantdale Bowling Club also won the prestigious Taite Music Prize earlier this year.

10:37pm - The VNZMAs are paying tribute to New Zealand music legends, Th' Dudes, known for their iconic Kiwi anthems 'Be Mine Tonight' and 'Bliss'. The Auckland-based pop-rock fusion are certified rock and roll royalty - their legacy etched into New Zealand music history. Their classic songs continue to resonate with audiences even 40 years on - their accomplishments now recognised with the RMNZ Legacy Award and an induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.

"The bunch of kids in love with rock and roll have somehow ended up on this stage... 39 years after we broke up. Good things take time," the band said in their acceptance speech.

The band also paid tribute to "fallen brother" and founding member of Th' Dudes, Ian Morris, who died in 2010.

A class act, ladies and gentlemen.

10:31pm - "Arguably the coolest award", the Vodafone People's Choice Award has been scooped up by Six60 - no surprises there.

As said by host Laura Daniel, it's an award that shows "people like you" - and Six60 certainly have that in spades.

10:20pm - Benee just won't stop scooping up Tuis! She's been awarded her fourth of the night for Vodafone Single of the Year, fan favourite 'Soaked' securing her the honour. Fellow nominees included Aldous Harding's 'The Barrell', The Beths' 'Little Death', Church & AP's 'Ready or Not', Drax Project's 'All This Time' and Six60's 'The Greatest'.

Also, she was presented the Tui by none other than Jacinda Ardern. Benee's having a good night.

10:18pm - Troy Kingi and The Upperclass has put on a powerhouse and politically-motivated performance. Read more about Kingi's impassioned speech from earlier in the night here.

10:06pm - Newshub's Mike McRoberts and Hollie Smith have presented Breakthrough Artist of the Year to... Benee! The Aucklander's third Tui of the night. Nominees included BAYNK, The Beths and hip-hop newcomers Church & AP.

"What the heck is happening," she exclaims. Her third acceptance speech is marked by an outpour of gratitude, more strange noises and more F-bombs.

10:00pm - Off the back of their soaring international success, the Wellingtonian 'Woke Up Late' hitmakers, Drax Project, have been honoured with the Recorded Music NZ International Achievement award.

9:55pm - Teeks and Hollie Smith have taken the stage, Smith serving pure soul and powerhouse vocals for the touching tribute performance. 

Tom Scott has apparently claimed that "Jacinda should visit Ihumātao", making the night's first political statement.

9:45pm - Villainy are serving "good ol' fashion" rock and roll - complete with red confetti, balloons and strobe lights - with Raised in the Dark's 'Dreams'.

9:42pm - She's on fire! Benee has taken out another Tui for Best Solo Artist, beating out Aldous Harding's Designer, Avantdale Bowling Club and Mitch James' self-titled debut. A clearly excited Benee swears, makes loud noises and expresses her gratitude. 

"I'm a bit of a weird one," she tells the audience.

She offers warm words to the other nominees, thanking them for their inspiration.

As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

9:40pm - Presented by Jess B and Jesse (Jess E) Mulligan, Six60 have added another Tui to their considerable collection for the Vodafone Highest Selling Artist. Nominees were country singer Dennis Marsh, Fat Freddy's Drop, Dennis Marsh and Katchafire.

9:26pm - Accompanied by the Avondale Intermediate choir, Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club showcased Scott's brand of conscious hip-hop for the third performance of the night, 'Home'. Avantdale Bowling Club, led by the former Home Brew frontman, is up for Album of the Year, Best Solo Artist and Best Hip-Hop Artist.

9:20pm - Rova Best Electronic Artist, presented by Aussie hip-hop duo Hermitude, went to TALI's Love & Migration. The drum and bass artist emotionally accepted her award after beating out Pacific Heights and Sweet Mix Kids.

"I've been in the industry for 18 years and this is my first ever award," she said tearfully.

"This is something I've dreamed of since I was a little girl on the dairy farm in Taranaki."

A special shout-out went to her devoted friends, who paid $300 to see their mate shine. My friends won't even shout me $10, but whatever.

The "First Lady" of drum and bass urged women to continue striving forward in the male-dominated EDM scene.

9:17pm - Presented by The Edge hosts Dom, Meg and Randell, The Edge Best Pop Artist was awarded to Benee's Fire on Marzz. Nominees were Broods' Don't Feed the Pop Monster and Mitch James' self-titled debut.

"Far out", "holy schiezer" and "thank you for listening" was the gist of her acceptance speech.

9:08pm - Best Maori Artist has gone to Troy Kingi and The Upperclass, beating out Rei and Louis Baker. The winner was honoured with a spine-tingling haka as Kingi took to the stage to accept the award.

He offered a heartfelt message to his fans, urging them to acknowledge and think about their history.

9:02pm - The Beths' Future Me Hates Me has taken out Best Group against nominees Beastwars' IV, Broods' Don't Feed the Pop Monster and L.A.B.'s L.A.B. II.  

8:58pm - Multi-award nominee and young Aucklander Benee has launched into fan favourite 'Soaked', which number 14 on the NZ Singles Chart.

8:50pm - Villainy have beat out Beastwars and Racing for Best Rock Artist - the third time the alt-rock four-piece have taken out a Best Rock award. They will be performing later this evening.

8:48pm - Six60 have taken out the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award.

8:38pm - Indie pop trio The Beths have taken the stage as the VNZMAs' opening act, launching into an upbeat performance.

8:30pm - The ceremony is starting with a dramatic remix of Th' Dudes' 'Bliss' and a rather stern "get ready to clap, guys". 

Don't forget, you can tune in to the VNZMAs live on Three Now here.

8:00pm - The red carpet has come to a close. The Awards kick off in less than half an hour - so get your wine, get comfortable and get ready for a night of New Zealand music.

7:43pm - Hosts Jon Toogood (Shihad frontman) and Funny Girl Laura Daniel have arrived.

So has multi-award nominee Mitch James, who is up for Album of the Year, Best Solo Artist and The Edge Best Pop Artist.

7:30pm - NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rocked up to the KFC red carpet - looking stunning!

Auckland DJ duo and rova Best Electronic Artist nominees Sweet Mix Kids are looking rad in red.

"Please give it up for Savage" - the hip-hop heavyweight has given Newshub's Summer Banger challenge his best shot. Watch this space.

As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Photo credit: Newshub

7:07pm - 'Swing' hitmaker Savage and Newshub's very own Mike McRoberts are working the red carpet.

As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Photo credit: Newshub
Looking good, guys.
Looking good, guys. Photo credit: Newshub

6:55pm - The Newshub crew have caught up with a very dapper Dave Dobbyn, who was the first unwitting participant in Newshub's Red Carpet 'Summer Banger' Challenge.

Donning a pair of headphones, Dobbyn was tasked with spontaneously creating lyrics for a summer smash hit.

"Shake it, shake it, put it on ice, shake it, shake it really briskly and then explode it into the glass and drink it up. Have a sausage, have a sausage. Kaitaia fire."

We like the way you think, Dave.

As it happened: 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Photo credit: Newshub

6:30pm - The VNZMA's are kicking off in less than two hours and the hype is building on social media.

5:50pm - Newshub's entertainment editor Monika Barton and social media producer Emma Clark are live on the red carpet  - watch the livestream below.

5:25pm - Soundcheck is done and dusted! Auckland-based singer/songwriter Mitch James will be hitting the stage tonight.

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