Liveblogging: The Halberg Awards

It’s t-27 minutes until the start of The Halberg Awards, the venerable sporting institution which has seen off the ultra-crap People’s Choice Awards and according to one press release, turned the Vector Arena into ‘Auckland’s largest dining room!’ Which you must admit would almost border on mildly interesting if you were at a doctor’s waiting room and they only had dated back issues of NZ Home & Garden to distract you.

Anyway, just while we’re filling in time, here’s a picture of Murray Halberg, the man who started at all, and one of the original gangstas of New Zealand’s killer athletics era. There’s some talk that Vili’s gold will lead to a wave of nostalgia for those glory days and get her the overall Halberg, but let’s just state for the permanent record that DeadBall (or at least Duncan. Dave is here but I’ve not asked him) is opposed to any such award. As well as she did, the Brickyard is history, and anything other than a Scott Dixon Supreme Award will PISS. ME. OFF.

One final thing before we get into the awards proper: I do think it’s super cool that there’s a Supreme Award winner. They don’t do that anywhere, not the Oscars, Crufts or the VMAs… That’s all of them right? Actually they do in Crufts, but I’m pretty sure they don’t do that very often at other awards ceremonies, and it’s definitely cool.

Ummm…  The Oscars do have a supreme award winner. It’s whoever wins the “Best Picture” award. And the VMAs have the “Best Video Award” . Granted neither have the word “supreme” in them, but still, the sentiment is the same. By the way, this is David, and I’m waiting here in anticipation for the show to begin. End of Coro, here we go!

Geoff Bryant welcomes us to the 58th Halberg awards. Cue the world’s biggest living room. Tim Beveridge has begun singing pompous lounge music befitting the occasion. A montage of NZ’s finest moments. This really sounds like a poor man’s version of My Way. The scene has been set.

Music is top rate tonight. Some pulsing light euro-trash house is playing over Olympic highlights now. By the way, nice to see they got some charismatic hosts. Peter Williams and Bernadine Oliver-Kerby. These guys know how to work the room. Hilarious! Peter Williams – “and here’s our ummm… finalists”. Own it!

Ian Ferguson and Alison Roe are presenting the Women’s Halberg. Alison just said “Ferg and I know how tough it is to win this award”. Even without our usually rigourous standards of research, I’m fairly confident in saying Ian Ferguson never won this award.

As they pan through the finalists they catch Sam Warriner eating, much to her embarrassment, and Vili’s husband is clearly HAMMERED, doing the ‘chill out dude’ surfer hand gesture to the camera on her nomination…

… And her inevitable win. Vili is still a fairly wooden public speaker, but her thanks to coach Kirsten Hellier are genuinely touching. She’s definitely not built for evening wear, but this event’s all about seeing athletes uncomfortable and out of their element. Ferg’s outrageous tan and the eye-scarring glare off his skin are a case in point. Cut to the first ads, with the promise of two inductions into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame to come.

Thanks for the tip Kara, Beveridge definitely has that corporate-type-who-followed-his-dream-until-it-became-our-nightmare vibe.

OK the Hall-of-Famers got done earlier this evening, Ross and Ann, didn’t catch their surnames. Really odd to not show us that live, but no time to dwell on that…

… It’s time for ESSENCE, FROM PAPATOETOE HIGH, WHO CAME TOP TEN IN THE PLAY IT STRANGE COMP!!!! I shit you not, they’re playing some super horrible jazzy-reggae to the bemused audience – bass solo!!!! – They’re very cute, I guess, but this ain’t a talent quest. Or maybe it is, but it’s pretty elevated and in an entirely different genre. Damn. This is some shameful shit.

Peter Williams: “That was cool. Is it cool to say cool? I don’t know.”


Ian Sutcliffe, the Brand and Marketing Manager for Westpac is speaking, and it’s as riveting as you’d expect. He tells us about how nice Westpac is for keeping its call centres in NZ, and giving its employees one day off a year to do… something. The athletes clap bemusedly. Jesus, he’s stil jacking off Westpac, this kind of thing is excruciating after a cricket series when everyone’s gone home, but here & now? Hmmff.

Westpac Emerging Talent award coming up now. Jossie Wells wins for free-skiing. Some nu-sport weirdness. He does a hella staged piece-to-camera from the snow, says “Sup everyone” at the start and spits a little during his speech. Young people make me sick.

We’re back. Peter Williams is pimping the Halberg Trust again – they are now giving a big comedy check to a man in a wheel chair.  Oh, he is the Halberg Trusts opportunity programme director. Touching moment. They are making dreams come true. Like sponsoring Joy’s trike so she could do a paper run. It’s no trip to Disney, but still, she can deliver paper now! And how much did that trike cost? $150,000… something doesn’t add up.

Speaking of disabilites, here’s Jonah Lomu! Good to see him about. He truly is a hero. It’s for the coaching award. I’m pretty sure Jonah is working off script here… some really awkward banter between him and Tanya Dalton. If Stephen Kearney doesn’t win this coach award, New Zealand doesn’t deserve to exist. Kearney looks like The Terminator:


But he’s denied! Dave is not happy, and he’s got an argument, though maybe the fact Kearney was splitting the job with acknowledged genius Wayne Bennett might have counted against him. Vili’s coach Hellier speaks for like an hour, Jonah’s sweating like a r*****, and looks like he’s thinking about lunch, or cars or dinner.

There was a weird moment that passed between Kirsten Hellier and Vili. Let’s not imply any more monstrous clichés, but we all saw it. Elizabeth Mervelly is now singing, kinda got a Celine Dion vibe, but not quite so batshit.

Dave: “Honestly, what’s good about this? Apart from her face.” He has two points there, treasure them, people. The musical accompaniment is totally classic, casiotone-sounding drums and stuff. The music interludes are pretty weird, I reckon they’d be better having like a tug of war or a some Greco-Roman wrestling on stage. Why music? Music kinda sucks.


I, on the other hand, am a truly incredible cameraphone photographer.

Dave on the It’s Not How We’re Drinking ad where the guy swings his kid into a wardrobe: “Who’s directing these ads? They’re amazing. I’ve never seen a bad performance in them.” Third point for the night, maybe a record?

Peter Williams interviewing Kirsten Hellier: “During your speech you touched on the love you have for each other, is that your secret?” SECRET LOVE!!! Hellier clarifies it’s “love as a friend”, but Williams is a crack journo, he’s got the scent of something bigger.

Yeah good call on the not all about Vili Kara, she has the potential to carry this whole thing, which wouldn’t been right.

OK awesome moment, Murray Halberg interviewing Ron Shakespeare, who starts crying with the raw emotion of the thing. It’s a beautiful piece, I think old sporting men are just awesome. Dave loves them too.

They bring out Graham Henry and Ruth Aiken to do Team of the Year, this has to go to the Kiwis. Henry’s speech is brilliantly dull.

Dave: “Steven Kearney’s handsome right? Right?”… And the winner is…

NO FUCKING WAY!!!! The Evers-Swindells?! Seriously, there’s only two of them, they’re hardly a team, and they win every stinking award going. League is still getting shat on by New Zealand, that was a once in a century event, Women’s Double Sculling is not a popular sport. I hope John Key apologises tomorrow to the nation for this monstrous screw-up. They look kinda bummed to have won, and acknowledge the other nominees in touching way. But this ain’t right, no way no how.


Gemma: “They’re just creepy because they’re twins, right?”

After that particular travesty (I blame athletes getting the vote, when this was all old, hard-bitten journos this kind of thing never happened) we move onto the Westpac Leadership Award. Who cares. I feel like Dixon has no chance now, it’s going to be all Olympics all the way. Bullshit.

Just back on the twins for a second.  Aren’t identical twins as close to one person you can get? They should have won an individual award. This sucks. While I was ranting I zoned out to Susan somebody winning an award. I disagree with Duncan, despite the judges having a Olympics hard-on, I just can’t see Dixon not winning this.

We’re in the adds now. Who was the mad genius behind the 3B chaffing gel adverstisement campaign? ” let’s give the breasts and vagina eyes! And we’ll have them dance!” Some things should never be given a human face.

In a similar vein, who was the genius who decided Tom Cruise should wear an eye patch for Valkyrie. Again, brilliant.

The twins are being interviewed now, Williams is desperately trying not to imply anything sexual, after the Vili-Hellier debacle.

Another musical performance. D.I.V.A! Seriously, is this award night being run in conjunction with some community talent quest? “I just want to praise you”… You lose. We all lose. This is a disgrace.


It really shows how out of touch NZ sport can be. Is this meant to be hip? These women are middle-aged  and look angry – like divorcees out on the town. Niki is desperately trying to find something nice to say about them, “I like how they co-ordinated their outfit”. A VERY tepid response from the crowd. Like maybe three people clapping.

Here we are for the Sports Man of the Year. Cameron Brown, Iron Man,  presenting. “Without do” here are the finalists. Really, there are no cue cards tonight. Duncan is positive Dixon won’t win.

HE IS WRONG! Thank goodness. Dixon most definitely is reading from cue cards.


But he makes a nice, humble, old-fashioned speech. Not like that brash young whippersnapper Jossie Somebody-or-other. Anyway, we’re off into the strange world of the TV One ad universe, all chaffing creams and adult diapers. When we come back, the Supreme Award. A chance at redemption. Here goes nothing…

Comments Watch: Yeah Kara I wouldn’t want to piss Sam Rapira off. Not with that haircut. But good point, they’re just big celebrities, they have name recognition so they get votes from athletes who don’t know any better. You should hear Telf on this topic. It’s so freaking sexy.

Mahe Drysdale (a true champ) makes the speech introducing the Supreme Award, this is a worrying sign for where it might go. Standing by… The Olympic onslaught, and Dixon’s absence both count against the correct decision being made…

FUCK. Vili won. Her husband restrains himself from doing ‘the sign’. A choir sings Climb Every Mountain. From The Sound Of Music. Vili does some dancing on the way up. It is seriously weird. She has to stand there while a choir of quite old children sing her praises. It’s too freaking strange, and Vili thinks so too.


Well this is a big fat screw up of an Award Ceremony, seriously. Good on her, she’s amazing and I loved her win. But Dixon won in front of 400,000 people, probably the single most famous race in all motorsport. But he gets beat out by a female shot-putter.

After listing her sponsors very dully she makes a surprisingly emotional speech, it’s great, especially when she contextualises the choir by noting that The Sound Of Music was her “best movie” growing up. It’s sweet, OK?

They think it’s all over… But luckily Tim Beveridge, Elizabeth Marvelly and D.I.V.A. are singing One Moment In Time. Mawkish is not nearly a strong enough word for this. You have to feel sorry for Essence, voted out of this travesty. You’re better than this guys.

Well another NZ awards ceremony, another trainwreck. What can you do?

Tim Beveridge: “I lived to be/ The very best” EPIC FAIL! Though Marvelly still loves him:


It’s finally over. Let’s try and pretend this never happened, hey? The fact Te Radar is now wishing New Zealand a happy Waitangi Day kinda sums it all up really. Imagine that happening for an hour and a half and you’re right there with us.

– Dave and Duncan (with help from Niki and Gemma)



Filed under Athletics, Awards, League, Motorsport, News, Rugby league

7 responses to “Liveblogging: The Halberg Awards

  1. Beveridge was a lawyer who paid for and released his own album, I never would have guessed.

  2. I thought he was gonna just read out the winner before announcing the nominees, thats the way it seemed to be heading.

  3. the emerging talent award that is

  4. Whoever is narrating the nominee VT’s sucks. Stephen Kearney should have won coach of the year! Tonight better not be all about Vili. And someone backstage still has their mic on, sshhh!!

  5. elizabeth marvelly (2nd rate hayley westenra) singing an uplifting, inspirational song, the kind you’d expect at such an event.. nice to look at, unfortunately she’s not so nice to listen to.

  6. I think the kiwis should have won team of the year, by the look on Rapira’s I think they did too ! So yeah the twins won at the olympics, by what like a 100th of a second.. Winning at the olympics is awesome but come on, all the awards cant go to olympic champs. They won last year too, so why not just give it up to someone else.. And I don’t even think they qualify as a team, they are a DUO!

  7. If there was an olympic gold medal winner in the running then I doubt Dixon would have won.. Reading from the auto cue was a bit crap.

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