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Published 27 May 2014

Winning photos capture New Zealand’s changing population

Six photographers from around the country have been announced as winners of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s ‘visual census’ photo competition.

Like a census, the entry photographs were all taken on the same day, Sunday 13 April 2014, and were to reflect the three main trends emerging from the 2013 Census: an ageing population; increasing diversity (in ethnicities, cultures, language and religions); and the continuing importance of migration to and from New Zealand.

The competition’s chief judge, highly-regarded photographer, Professor Anne Noble ONZM, says “I think the photography competition is an excellent idea.  The well considered categories provide a challenge for all those who carry cameras with them  (and everyone does)  to observe and reflect on New Zealand’s changing population,  the vibrancy of  New Zealand culture and society and the less visible challenges we face in a rapidly changing world.”

Overall Winner: 'Welcome to Paradise'

Overall Winner: ‘Welcome to Paradise’

The overall winner of the adult section (18 years and over) was Gerar Toye from Karamea on the West Coast, with the image ‘Welcome to Paradise.’ 

Professor Noble commented that the photo was a visually astute comment on the ongoing trend of migration to the cities and New Zealand’s shrinking rural population. “Both the title and the landscape in the background reveal New Zealand as the paradise most people believe it to be but the statistics point to a more complex social reality.  It is a colourful and witty reflection on the New Zealand rural environment.”

Mr Toye wins $700 for being the overall adult section winner.

The overall winner of the youth division (under 18 years) was Andrew Wilson, from Kaiapoi, Christchurch, for the image ‘Airport Rush’.

Youth Overall Winner: 'Airport Rush'

Youth Overall Winner: ‘Airport Rush’

Professor Noble commented, “this is an excellent photograph of people coming and going on their way to and from catching planes.  The photograph captures figures and vehicles both still and moving in a vital panoramic composition.  The scene is photographed from above as a birds-eye-view or as if glimpsed from a departing plane.  All these elements contribute to an exciting and evocative image.”

Andrew Wilson wins $400 as the overall youth section winner and $200 for winning the migration category. View Andrew Wilson Designs.

The winning images will be used to illustrate the Our Futures: Te Pae Tawhiti review the Royal Society of New Zealand is currently undertaking.

The chair of the review, Professor Gary Hawke, says the review explores the changing New Zealand population, and the implications of this for the economy, our culture, identity, our cities and the regions, education, and health.

“We hope this review will encourage wide discussion and broaden understanding of the changing nature of New Zealand society.”

Our Futures photo competition winners

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi