Debate triumphs at student press awards




Debate has won seven awards and placed third for Best Publication at this year’s Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards on Saturday.


Judge Matt Harnett said Debate’s illustration and writing made for a “great read”, praising Justin Hu’s “incisive reporting” and Lucy Wormald for her “evocative writing”.


Justin Wong claimed Best Student Politics Coverage for stories including overspending at Hikuwai Sounds, delays at AUT’s new Mayoral Drive student accommodation, and resignations at AUTSA. The Hikuwai Sounds story also won third for Best News Story.


Briar Pomana picked up Best Creative Writing, Fiction, or Poetry, with writer Mandy Hager describing her stories “rich in nostalgia and vivid detail, with a real feeling of intimacy and very atmospheric”.


Nam Woon Kim came first in Best Reviewer, with the Spinoff’s Sam Brooks calling him “a really great talent for capturing something with vivid language”.


Alana McConnell won Best Headline with “Bullshit Operations Specialist: Your corporate dreams are bullshit”. Her story on O-week drug testing also came joint third for Best Feature.


Justin Hu came runners-up at Best News Reporter for his coverage of online exams cheating and AUT’s misuse of Māori values, as well as a feature of Lorne Street’s No.1 Pancake which closed earlier this year.


Andrew Broadley also came second for Best Humour and Satire.


Debate also swept away numerous artistic awards, with designer Kwok Yi Lee coming first for Best Design.

One of the judges for Best Design, House & Garden magazine’s Art Director Sacha Wackrow, said Debate is “the standout winner by a mile”.


“It is modern, professional, cohesive and has been designed with a great reader experience in mind,” she said.


Illustrator Yi Jong won Best Cover and Best Illustrator, with The Spinoff’s Creative Director Toby Morris said he is “super impressed” with Yi’s work.


The magazine also came third in Best Website.


Otago University’s Critic Te Arohi won Best Publication for the fifth straight year, and picked up Best News Story for their six-month-long investigation into white supremacist group Action Zealandia.