The Ministry of Education has put aside $267,000 for children's performance providers after Stage Challenge and J Rock events were axed.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has pledged to provide new opportunities for young people to engage in events that promote music, drama and dance.

Stage Challenge - and later J Rock - were highlights of school performance calendars since 1992, but the foundation announced earlier this year that the events would not continue due to income from this year's planned shows not begin able to cover costs.

"The current economic conditions would make it extremely difficult for the corporate sector to sponsor the event," foundation chairman Lester Taylor said.


Following the decision, Hipkins said regional and national activities of this sort were too important to lose, so the ministry had allocated a $267,000 budget for each of the next two years to allow for providers like this to continue.

Hipkins said performances that are designed and led by the students themselves provide a valuable opportunity to build leadership skills while promoting teamwork and commitment. They also allow students to work alongside industry professionals in staging, lighting and video production.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said events such as Stage Challenge and J Rock
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said events such as Stage Challenge and J Rock "were too important to lose".

"Music, drama and dance are an important part of the curriculum and for many young people are a way of expressing their creativity and building confidence.

"As a result, while the Stage Challenge brand itself is licensed and cannot be replicated, I am today inviting potential providers to put forward expressions of interest to run national and regional opportunities for students to showcase their skills.

"The Stage Challenge Foundation is invited to put forward a proposal," he said.

"Because time is short, I have asked officials to free up more funding for the activity this year to increase the chance of it continuing, while it works with potential providers on a more sustainable, long-term replacement.

"The amount will depend on negotiations with the future provider."

The ministry is now seek potential providers with the capability and experience to deliver services in the production of performing arts activities.

It's expected the process will be completed by the end of term one for activities to be held from the second term of this year.