Ceremony held on Oct. 18.

Fat Freddy's Drop, who dominated last year's New Zealand Music Awards with four wins, continued its winning streak this year.

The seven-piece reggae band scored three more wins at this year's ceremony (also known as the "tuis"), which was held on Oct. 18 at Auckland's Aotea Centre.

Fat Freddy's wins included the People's Choice category for most popular act, while its No. 1 album "Based On A True Story" (The Drop), still in the local charts after 75 weeks, was highest selling NZ album.

Director Mark Williams got the Music Video award for the act's single "Wandering Eye."

Of the 18 gold-plated tuis handed out, singer-songwriter Bic Runga took Album of the Year for "Birds" (Sony BMG) and Female Solo Artist.

Punk rockers Bleeders won Breakthrough Artist and Best Rock Album for the sophomore release "As Sweet As Sin" (Elevenfiftyseven/Universal). Veteran Dave Dobbyn (Sony BMG) received his 15th win in the tuis' 27 years with the prize for Best Male Solo Artist.

Presenters included NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark and British singer James Morrison.

The tuis' reputation for cheeky irreverence continued this year with rock band Elemeno P performing with a life-size cutout of the act's bass player Lani Purkis (she could not attend as she had given birth two days before), and a fire alarm being set off near the end of the show.

Elemeno P's album "Trouble In Paradise" (Universal) won the band the Best Group award, and guitar band Pluto's "Long White Cross" (EMI) won Single of the Year.

The winner of the "NZ Idol 2005" TV talent contest, Rosita Vai, received highest selling NZ single for "All I Ask" (Sony BMG), and alt-rockers The Feelers (Warner) got Best Radio Airplay Record for the "Stand Up" single.

In the genre categories, Frontline's "Borrowed Time" (Dirty) won for urban hip-hop, Concord Dawn's "Chaos By Design" (Uprising) for dance/electronica, the Fly My Pretties' "The Return of Fly My Pretties" (Loop) for roots, and Julia Grace's "juliagrace" (Parachute Recordings) for gospel/Christian.

Tower Voices Of New Zealand's "Spirit of the Land (Trust Records) picked up the award for the classical category, and Te Reotakiwa Dunn's "Te Reotakiwa Dunn" (Woodcut Productions) for Maori language.

"(Being) that the awards were shared around, and not won just by a few, showed how dynamic the NZ scene is," says Campbell Smith, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.

Highlights of the New Zealand Music Awards will be screened on CanWest's free-to-air C4 network on the evening of Oct. 21.

Several genre-based tuis are handed out at awards functions throughout the year. The country music tui was presented at the Country Music Awards, on June 2, to Nashville-based Shane Warner for his album "Absolutely" (Australiana).

And the jazz tui will be presented at the Wellington International Jazz Festival on Nov. 2.

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