Patrick Gower, Newshub win big at 2020 New Zealand Television Awards

Patrick Gower has dedicated his win at the 2020 New Zealand Television Awards to his late mother after taking home the Best Presenter Entertainment award at Wednesday night's ceremony 

Gower's On Weed documentary saw him recognised for his investigation into the world of medical and recreational marijuana, with director Justin Hawkes also scooping up the trophy for Best Director Documentary - Factual. 

"This is really special and recognises all of the hard mahi, the creativity and the ideas of everyone who worked on On Weed - it is something that we all can share," Gower said in a statement. 

"I would like to dedicate this to my mum, and everybody like her with a terminal illness… This documentary and this award are for mum and everybody like her who deserve access to this amazing plant to help ease their suffering."

Other winners include Michael Morrah, who took out the coveted Reporter of the Year award, while Newshub won Best News Coverage for the Samoa measles crisis. 

Morrah said he was "truly honoured and overwhelmed" to receive the award for the first time. 

"I would like to acknowledge all those who trusted me with their stories throughout the current COVID-19 crisis, during my investigations into the Civil Aviation Authority and to the people of Samoa who endured the horrors of the devastating measles outbreak," he said. 

"Thank you to the Newshub team - when you work in an environment like ours, with a team that has each other’s backs, you can produce journalism that makes a difference." 

Newshub's Director of News Sarah Bristow said she was thrilled at the results in a year where the standards for journalism had been set very high. 

"I am so proud of our newsroom for winning this prestigious award for two years in a row and of reporters such as Michael Morrah who have the ability to change how authorities respond to a crisis through their exceptional work."

The Hui’s Mihingarangi Forbes also won the Best Presenter News and Current Affairs award, which she said was "humbling". 

"I want to thank all who have supported me during my 26 years in broadcasting, my mentors, colleagues and especially my whānau. He toa takitini tēnei!"

Three's drama and comedy offerings were also recognised, with Head High stars Miriama McDowell and Jayden Daniels winning Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively, while Anna Jullienne took home Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mean Mums. 

Other big winners included Hilary Barry for Television Personality of the Year, Himesh Patel whose role in The Luminaries earned him Best Actor, Stuff Circuit which won Best Current Affairs Programme and The Spinoff, which won Best Sports Programme for its documentary series Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends.