The inaugural Sarah Broom poetry prize was awarded to accomplished writer C.K Stead at the Auckland Writers' Festival today.
Stead is described as one of the country's most prominent writers and critics and has won many awards previously including the 2009 Montana Book Award.
Guest judge for this year's competition was poet Sam Hunt.
Hunt said choosing between 3000 odd poems by 300 poets was a daunting task.
"When poems of the voice and presence of Karl Stead's come along, those hours of reading and listening, become more than worthwhile, they become a total pleasure."
Stead accepted the award via video as he is in Europe.
He said this was a special prize to him as "Sarah Broom was a special person. I understand that this was a strong field, so that's reassuring at my age to be told that you are still in business."
The prize includes $12000.