Northland Heats

Press Release – Smokefreerockquest

Smokefreerockquest gets underway in Northland next Saturday.

For entrants in the nationwide high school music competition, finding a name is often first among their many challenges. Pastie Boys and Soup of the Day feature among the bands to play off at the Forum North on Saturday (details below).

This year an expected 3000 young people will go through regional heats and finals in 24 towns from Invercargill to Whangarei as they compete in Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats (formerly Pacifica Beats) which showcases Pacifica and Maori culture in a contemporary music setting.

Founder and Director Glenn Common says over the past 30 years there has been tremendous support from schools, who value the framework these events create for their students to strive for success, express themselves and gain NCEA credits.

“This is often mentioned as the motivator that keeps kids engaged in the school system. Teachers can see the benefits that being in a band brings – kids learn to cooperate, to negotiate around their differences, to express their thoughts and emotions in words, to front up on time, to promote themselves and their ideals. And performing live on stage is a great boost in confidence – it requires a lot of skills that are not just musical.”

SFRQ founder & director Pete Rainey says Smokefree has been supporting young Kiwis to showcase their music almost from day one of the 30 year old competition, and is closely aligned with the events.

“We all want to encourage kids to look after themselves and their mates by engaging with music and the benefits that brings,” he said. “It’s great to stage events that recognise that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future – with the goal of Smokefree 2025.”

The Northland heats of Smokefreerockquest are being held at Forum North, Rust Ave, on Saturday May 26, start time 1pm. Tickets $10 at the door, no charge for children 5yrs and under.

1pm Session – Solo/Duos:

Huia Shortland Te Kapehu Whetu – Teina

Uno Kerikeri High School

Patrick Henderson-Biss Whangarei Boys’ High School

Q Kerikeri High School

Abbey Collins Rodney College

Dani Tauraroa Area School

Justyce and Alicia Northland College

Empty boxes Rodney College

No Credit Kerikeri High School

Savage Bream Bay College

Drew And Aysha Rodney College

The Tempts Kerikeri High School

Tasha Perrett Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa

2:30pm Session – Bands:

Reflecks Kerikeri High School

Utopian Daydream Rodney College

Pastie Boys Tauraroa Area School

Soup of the Day Rodney College

Live Wire Mahurangi College

A08 Kamo High School

Wham Bam Thank you Ma’am Whangarei GHS

Jinx Springbank School, Kerikeri HS

If & When Bream Bay College

Heavy Steel Kerikeri High School

Ke Lo Ke Whangarei GHS, Pompallier Catholic School

manifest of war Bream Bay College

Rillet Broadwood Area School Te Kura Taumata o Panguru

The Violet Violets Bream Bay College

UltraViolet Blue Huanui College

Good Morning Waipapa Kerikeri High School

Elevated Mahurangi Coll Rodney Coll

Ke Lo Ke Whangarei GHS, Pompallier Catholic College, Whangarei BHS

5pm Session – Smokefree Tangata Beats:

Savage Bream Bay College

Tasha Perrett Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa

Harmonies Divergent Bay of Islands College

Fresh Division Kerikeri High School

First and second in the solo/duo and the winner of the Tangata Beats award will be named at the heats, and the top 12 bands will be selected to play off at the Northland final at Forum North on Friday June 22, start time 7pm, tickets $10 for school students and $20 for adults from Ticketek or at the door.

Changes this year include senior students being able to play two songs at the heats to fulfill their NCEA requirements; and more technology allowed by performers in the solo-duo section.

The live events run from May 5 until July 6, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting footage for selection as finalists to play at the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.


For further information and photos please contact Jacquetta Bell, publicist: 03 546 9661 027 249 1206

Or Founder & director Glenn Common 021 744 536
Smokefreerockquest – 30 years of musical success: New Zealand’s nationwide, live, original music, youth event stages over 30 events giving young musicians the opportunity to perform live in a professional setting, in venues from Whangarei to Invercargill. Smokefreerockquest 2018, powered by Rockshop, aims to motivate young musicians to strive for success, to realise the opportunities available in music careers, and to encourage their peers to support original New Zealand music. The founders Glenn Common and Pete Rainey were honoured with the MNZM in 2013, and continue to lead the team that now runs this New Zealand institution. For more information visit

Smokefree Tangata Beats recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Participants must incorporate Te Reo Maori or a Polynesian language, instruments, dance or movement in their performance. The event motivates young musicians to express themselves with cultural relevance, and to encourage their peers to support original Aotearoa Kiwi music. For more information go to

Smokefree has been supporting young Kiwis to showcase their passions for music for close to three decades. Thousands of musicians have hit the stage and many have gone onto to do epic things on national and global levels. Being the naming right sponsor of Smokefreerockquest gives another platform to show the benefits of a smokefree lifestyle and how smoking really doesn’t have a place in young people’s bands or their world. Smokefree recognises that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future as we head towards the goal of Smokefree 2025.

Rockquest Promotions: In 1989 Glenn Common and Pete Rainey picked up a radio station school music contest in Christchurch. The event went nationwide in 1990, and in ’91 Smokefree became the main sponsor. SFRQ founders Glenn and Pete were honoured with the MNZM for Services to Music in 2013, and continue to lead the team that now runs this New Zealand institution, from offices in Nelson and Auckland. From 2018 Rockquest Promotions is also producing the dance and drama event Showquest in ten regions. For more information visit

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