Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Google doodle NZ finalists named

Google has named the Kiwi finalists for its first local version of the Doodle 4 Google art competition - and now it's up to New Zealanders to pick the winners.

The Te Papa-sponsored competition was open to entries from students through to Year 10, with kids challenged to produce a Google 'doodle' with the theme 'My New Zealand'.

Google doodles are customised versions of the search giant's homepage logo.

The winner gets their entry displayed on the Google.co.nz homepage.

Thousands of entries were received from more than 600 schools across New Zealand.

The finalists will be flown to a grand final event at Te Papa where the original Google doodler, Dennis Hwang will announce the overall winner whose design will appear on the site.

"Finalists were selected on the basis of artistic merit, creativity, and how well the theme of 'My New Zealand' was communicated," says Google's Annie Baxter.

She said the judges, Te Papa's Curator of Contemporary Art Charlotte Huddleston, Huffer founder Steve Dunstan and Erin Simpson, host of TV2's The Erin Simpson Show got together at Te Papa's Our Space multimedia room to select the finalists.

"We're enormously impressed at the calibre of the finalist entries and can't wait to see what New Zealand thinks now that we are open for public voting to find the four age group winners," said Baxter.

Steve Dunstan said he will take inspiration for the students' designs."Judging the doodles has been an awesome process," he said. "It's been great to get an understanding of what influences the next generation of Kiwis, and it's certainly something I'll be taking back to our design room.

"What came through loud and clear for me in the doodles is a patriotic pride and love for our clean and green lifestyle, from recycling and nuclear-free symbols through to native forests and grassy landscapes. It's really encouraging for the future."

The first modified Google logo appeared in 1999, and is now used to celebrated events, anniversaries and holidays worldwide - including ANZAC Day and the anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's historical ascent of Mt Everest.

Source: NZ Herald