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An award-winning New Zealand photographer is the guest of honour for the opening of the world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at Hamilton’s Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Image 18 © Dmitry Kokh, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - web


Image 21 © Richard Robinson, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - web


Polar frame © Dmitry Kokh, Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The right look © Richard Robinson, Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Shot under New Zealand Department of Conservation permit #84845-MAR.

On tour from the Natural History Museum in London, Wildlife Photographer of the Year will open on Friday 9 December and marks the first time Hamilton has been home to this exhibition of the world’s most exceptional nature photography. 

“Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography award of its kind, and the competition has provided a global platform to showcase the best of photography talent for more than 55 years,” said Liz Cotton, Director of Museum and Arts, Waikato Museum. 

“It's an honour to be the first New Zealand hosts for this year’s exhibition, particularly as the award-winners include stunning images by New Zealander photographer Richard Robinson, highlighting the work being done to protect our population of tohoraa [southern right whales].” 

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the country to Waikato Museum to see these incredible images over the summer, including those with a passion for photography, the environment, and our natural world.”

Speaking from London, the Director of the Natural History Museum, Doug Gurr, said:

“We are thrilled to see our prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition reaching audiences in this part of New Zealand for the first time. What could be more fitting than the setting of the Waikato Museum, on the banks of the biodiverse Waikato River? We hope every visitor leaves the exhibition feeling inspired to protect and celebrate the natural world.” 

Launched in 1965, today the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition receives entries from more than 90 different countries, highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s award-winning images are on an international tour that will allow them to be seen by millions of people all over the world, including here in Hamilton.   

An international panel of industry experts selected underwater photojournalist Richard Robertson as the winner of the category, Oceans - The Bigger Picture. His award-winning image ‘New life for the tohorā’ captures a hopeful moment for a population of New Zealand native whales that has survived against all odds. Another of his photographs, ‘The right look’ was also Highly Commended in the Animal Portraits category. 

Another New Zealand photographer was also recognised by the judging panel, with D'Artagnan Sprengel’s photograph ‘Frost daisy’ receiving a Highly Commended award in the 11-14 Years Old category for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  

Winner of the Grand Title award was ‘The big buzz’ by Karine Aigner, shot with a macro lens to show the frenzy of Texan cactus bees competing to mate. This captivating image, and all other prize winners, will be among the 100 photographs on display at Waikato Museum until 23 April 2023.  

Exhibition information: 

  • Dates and times: 9 December 2022 to 23 April 2023, open daily 10am to 5pm 
  • Entry fees apply for this exhibition 
  • More information:  

Please note: Waikato Museum uses double vowels in te reo Maaori to represent a long vowel sound as it is the preference of the Waikato-Tainui iwi. Artists’ titles are shown in their original form. 

Image 37 © Brandon Güell, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - web


Image 54 © Jose Fragozo, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - web


Treefrog pool party © Brandon Güell, Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The disappearing giraffe © Jose Fragozo, Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


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