"The lady in the image is my mum," says Robyn. "She's a 77-year-old woman. Her home was destroyed in the Christchurch earthquakes so she moved out to a rural property and built that unit. And she's very much made it her home.
'That's her with the chickens, and the chicken poop, and everything else she's cluttered around her. But that's her. She's a crazy 77-year-old from Manchester. This is who she is, it's so nice to have a picture of who she is, forever."
'My Favourite Things', by Robyn Hays.
Kerry Hutchison won second place with her image 'Sandcastles at Sunset'
Second place winner Kerry Hutchison was also thrilled to learn her photograph had been selected by the judges.
'I'm really, really excited. I genuinely didn't expect this and really overwhelmed actually,” says Kerry. 'It was one of those beautiful evenings and we decided spontaneously to go down to the beach. I literally grabbed my camera at the last minute and I'm so glad I did.
'It's amazing. We'd only just moved up to Tauranga. The beautiful sunsets we get here are just amazing. My little girl was just in her own little world and doing her thing and I captured a few photos. This is one of them.
Making her new home in Tauranga, Kerry says she is enjoying the lifestyle here.
'The weather is amazing. There's a lot about Tauranga that I love," says Kerry.
Lisa Monk's highly commended photograph ‘Fondly Familiar'
All 20 finalists are displayed on large panels along The Strand
‘A.I. Buddy' by Annabelle Court who won third place, pictured with her son Eddie who was the subject of her photograph.
Annabelle Court from Wellington won third prize with her photograph 'A.I. Buddy'.
'I'm very excited. We almost didn't make it here today,” says Annabelle. 'We drove up from Wellington since 8 o'clock this morning and got caught in traffic, arrived at two minutes to five. It was very worth it.
'The photo was taken in our living room. That's my middle son Eddie who was laying on the sofa after a long day at school. He is always happy to come home and he was playing with his robot. I've usually always got a camera slung around my shoulder and capturing the moments.
'Home is really a place of sanctuary where I feel my kids should feel comfortable and be themselves. A place of comfort and togetherness as a family.”
‘Crab Stand-Off' by Caleb Walsh received a Highly Commended Judges Pick award.
Ryan Clark with his highly commended photograph 'A Classic Kiwi Christmas Sale'.
Ryan Clark received a highly commended as one of the 20 finalists.
'It's really cool, especially being 14,” says Ryan. 'It's nice to know younger people can still participate in this stuff.
'My image was taken in Palmerston North. It was the Christmas sale. I saw these people at the boot of their car selling all these clothes. I thought it was a cool photo and snapped it. The colours pop, the character in the ladies, the coloured hair. I do a lot of videography as well and like doing a bit of both. I love photography."
Tania Lewis-Rickard, with her highly commended photograph 'Home with my community whānau'. Photo: Supplied.
''Home with my community whānau' is the title of my photo submission of a beautiful lady named Rosie, who comes to our Greerton community meal ‘Kai Aroha',” says Tania Lewis-Rickard who was one of the 20 finalists.
'What is important to me in this photo is whānau, turangawaewae, community, connection, kotahitanga, aroha, manaakitanga, a place of belonging.
'This photo is my tribute to all the homeless women, displaced families and homeless people; who only ever want....a home.”
Abhi Chinniah with her highly commended photograph 'My Ghagra Choli'
Harley Couper, with his highly commended photograph 'The Joy of an Old Salt'.
Robyn's winning large-scale image, sponsored by Priority One, features alongside the 19 other finalists in the Bay's largest outdoor photo exhibition which opened on Friday night on The Strand and acts as a showcase of New Zealand's creative talent.
"'Life is not a dress rehearsal," says Robyn. "You've only got one shot. I'm totally grateful to all the sponsors of the competition. Thank you very very much. It's going to enable me to buy a new lens for my camera.”
1st Place $5000 – Sponsored by Priority One:
Robyn Hay – ‘My Favourite Things'
2nd Place $3000 – Sponsored by Tauriko Business Estate:
Kerry Hutchison – ‘Sandcastles at Sunset'
3rd Place $1500 – Sponsored by Holland Beckett Lawyers:
Annabelle Court – ‘A.I. Buddy'
Highly Commended Judges Pick $500 – Sponsored by Sharp Tudhope:
Caleb Walsh – ‘Crab Stand-Off'
Highly Commended (in no particular order):
Abhi Chinniah – ‘My Ghagra Choli'
Tania Lewis-Rickard – ‘Home with my Community Whānau'
Kate Regan – ‘Nuts and Bolts'
Brad Crocker – ‘Imagination'
Rose Secker – ‘Arm and Wing'
Klara Langova – ‘Coming Home'
Arka Gupta – ‘Sunset on Lake Hawea'
Clay Dixon – ‘Happy Place'
Lisa Monk – ‘Fondly Familiar'
Juliano Baby Amorim – ‘Happiness is in Front of the House Door'
Harley Couper – ‘The Joy of an Old Salt'
Matt Taylor – ‘Storm in a Bathtub'
Michaela Broodryk – ‘Golden Love'
Ryan Clark – ‘A Classic Kiwi Christmas Sale'
Jessica Handley – ‘Just Chilling at Home'
Roger Smith – ‘Tui in the Cherry Tree'
While you're enjoying the exhibition, vote for your favourite image to be entered to win dinner for two to the value of $120 at Macau Restaurant. On each photograph, you'll see a People's Choice number - simply text CHOICE and the corresponding number of your favourite image to 559.
The exhibition is run as a partnership initiative with Trustpower, Downtown Tauranga, The Weekend Sun, MediaWorks, UNO. Magazine, Tuskany, Priority One, Tauriko Business Estate, Holland Beckett Lawyers and Sharp Tudhope, and with support from The Big Picture and Energy Services. It runs until April 5th on The Strand as a free community event. For more details go to www.downtowntauranga.co.nz