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Protecting our precious places

Prize presented to film and music winners

Media release
Embargoed till 7 March 2015

Minister of Conservation, Maggie Barry ONZM today presented the winners of a music and film competition with their prize before launching their short film at a special viewing at Dorothy Brown’s Cinema in Arrowtown.

Ruby Judson and Steffan Paton’s video won the Soho Film and Original Composition Competition run in collaboration between Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and Victoria University of Wellington.

The competition was organised to celebrate the Mahu Whenua covenants which were formally opened today by the National Trust and Soho Property Ltd. The covenants are New Zealand’s largest ever private land protection agreement, protecting 53,000ha of high country landscape near Arrowtown. 

Contestants were asked to create a short promotional video of the covenants accompanied by an original score, using film footage supplied by the Trust.

The judging panel comprised Professor John Psathas, Dr Paul Wolffram and David Long representing Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), based at Victoria, and the University’s schools of English, film, theatre and media studies, and Paul Kirby, Anne McLean and Jane Hunter representing Queen Elizabeth II National Trust.

National Trust spokesperson, Anne McLean, says the competition provided an opportunity for Victoria University’s film and music students to work together on a project that would both promote the Mahu Whenua covenant agreement and Victoria University’s film and music programmes.

The winning entry was a strong collaboration between the composer and film editor and an inspiring celebration of the covenants, she says.

‘The video is a pleasure to watch and listen to, and we look forward to using Ruby and Steffan’s engaging work to raise awareness of both our organisations and the covenants,’ she says. 

In 2014, Ruby Judson completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in film and international business and Steffan Paton gained a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in composition at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM).  

As part of their prize the winners received $ 1,000.00 to share and were flown to Arrowtown attend the official opening of the Mahu Whenua covenants and the launch of their film.


More information/media liaison

Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Anne McLean, Phone: 04 474 1689, — - mobile 022 678 3610

Victoria University, Katherine Edmond, Communications Manager, Phone: 04 463 6017 - mobile: 027 563 6017, —

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