The Pavs: NZ Game Awards is a night to celebrate the exceptional games created by New Zealanders. It's about highlighting the amazing experiences people are creating in our community. To this end, the NZGF committee supports transparency in how the awards work and we want to take this opportunity to share it with you.

the judging process for the game awards

While The Pavs are organised by NZGF, the judges are independent volunteers. These volunteers have graciously given large amounts of their time to review the submissions.

The Judges are invited from our community both in New Zealand and in Australia. The Judging Manager from the NZGF committee reviews past judges and brings in new judges. Past judges have been invited back and invited to suggest others. New judges are invited because of their unique perspective or work they have done for the community.

The number of these judges ranges each year and is dependent on the number of award submissions. We have around 20 Judges for 2020.

Once game submissions are completed, these Judges receive a list of games to vote on. This list is first reviewed by the Judging Manager to resolve any conflicts of interest. Before Judges can vote on a game they must also certify that they are not aware of any conflicts of interest. If any conflicts exist then they are not allowed to vote on the game and a new submission is supplied to them to review in its place.

Over the month long period of judging, the Judges take time to carefully review each submission. By the end of the voting period, they will cast their votes, and finalists are determined from the vote totals. The Judging Manager selects a final Jury who are not affiliated with any of the finalists of their judging categories. This Jury is split into pools, each pool reviews the finalists for a category and votes to determine the winner for that category’s award.
If a Juror has conflict of interest they are not allowed to vote on any of the games in that category.
These votes are collected and totalled by the Judging Manager and sent on to the Event Manager so they can be celebrated at the Pavs awards night!

the judging process for the community awards

Te Maunga Kai Kapua (Teina): Industry Rising Star and Te Maunga Kai Kapua (Tuakana): Industry Pillar are our Community Awards which highlight wonderful developers in New Zealand.

  • Te Maunga Kai Kapua (Tuakana): Industry Pillar award recipient is selected by the NZGF board of directors. The nominee list is gathered from the community during a two month open call where developers can nominate a developer living in New Zealand.
  • Te Maunga Kai Kapua (Teina): Industry Rising Star award recipient is chosen by a selection team. This team consists of upstanding New Zealand developers and previous winners of the Te Maunga Kai Kapua (Tuakana): Industry Pillar award.  The nominee list is gathered from the community during a two month open call where developers can nominate a developer living in New Zealand.

sponsorship in relation to the pavs

NZGF receives no sponsorship or donations for the awards judging process. We ensure the judging process remains independent by:
  • Having the judging managed by one committee member, and awards night co-ordinated by another.
  • Requiring any judges with ties to a sponsor to abstain from voting on any of that organisation’s submissions.
  • Excluding sponsors from participating in the final Jury.

a big thank you to all the pavs' judges and jurors for 2020!

We hope that knowing more about the process will help everyone appreciate just how much each of our award winners has earned their spot on the stage. So follow @nzgamesfest on Twitch, stock up on snacks, and be ready to enjoy a night of celebration of our wonderful community!