The glam and the goss from the VNZMAs

Ricardo Simich,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Saturday, 19 November 2016, 3:13PM
Bic Runga and Hollie Smith.
Bic Runga and Hollie Smith.

The 51st Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards did not disappoint. Spy did the quadruple jump: the pre-party at the Pullman; the red carpet and awards/backstage at Vector Arena; and the three after-parties of Warner’s, Universal and Sony. There were four standouts on the red carpet. Over the past few years, Lorde has garnered the spotlight. This year it was veteran Legacy Award winner Bic Runga who looked ethereal in a silver leaf applique Kate Sylvester dress. Runga arrived on the carpet with her long- time partner Kody Nielson, telling Spy they would be taking it easy after the awards as they had their children to get home to. The thunderous reaction of the crowd humbled Runga, who said it was the fans who gave her the confidence to release her sixth album, Close Your Eyes. The momentum continued for Runga later in the evening, changing her earlier plans and attending the Sony party at Ostro with family, including a very proud sister Boh.

Crowd Favourites Tami Neilson and Hollie Smith might have been pipped at the post for awards by Aaradhna but they were the goddesses of the red carpet. Neilson — posing up in Curvy Couture, with fellow country man and style devil Marlon Williams, and Smith slaying in a gold lame Carlson gown.

Newly-single presenter Antonia Prebble looked ready to mingle in Camilla & Marc, bringing her on-screen husband Ted (David de Lautour) as her date for the night. The pair were out for a good time as they had just finished filming Westside for the week.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison, took on a new role of “red carpet man on-the-ground” for — his charming encounters with the stars of the night will be up online tomorrow.

Real Housewife Anne Batley Burton gave new meaning to the word BYO when she brought her own booze to the party as she couldn’t stomach the cheap plonk on offer. Speaking of reality stars, Spy overheard quite a few musicians who would have preferred fewer of them at the event.

TV3’s The Cafe star Mike Puru was more popular than any of his workmates — posing for a record number of selfies as people high-fived him for speaking out about the way MediaWorks handled his terminations from The Edge and The Bachelor. Puru admitted to Spy about being nervous  seeing his colleagues at the awards — but everyone was  incredibly supportive.

Winners celebrated at their respective after-parties: Universal was at REC on Customs St, where Lorde’s parents were spotted, with her mum Sonia Yelich having a boogie on the dancefloor. It was an upstairs downstairs affair for Sony and Warner Music who had their parties at Ostro and Seafarers respectively in Britomart, with both floors heaving till the early hours of the morning.


* Which music man had the wandering eye of the night?   
* Which celebrity threw a tantrum when she couldn’t park her car in the limo drop-off zone?
* Which lovely young starlet went on a Tinder date with a male musician? This singer is no gentleman!
* Which radio rivals had a foursome sandwich?
* Which reality star annoyingly spent twice the time of any musician giving interviews?
* Which famous couple sneaked down from GA onto the main floor arena?  
* Who created the best photo bomb in history?  
* Which journalist  was embarrassed at having moved from the HMNZS Canterbury earlier in the day to the red carpet glitz?
* Which new celebrity romance burgeoned at a VNZMA after party?