After months of preparation, five Northland schools will be competing tonight for the title of regional Showquest champions.

Northland is the first region to stage the annual performing arts event, with local teens capturing the spirit of Showquest with their self selected themes such as grief, and a modern-day adaptation of the Māori legend of Tamatane.

Showquest is staged nationwide by Rockquest Promotions, the team behind the successful original music competitions Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats, and this year expects record entries in 10 regional centres.

Event director Matt Ealand said the team was looking forward to the second year of the programme.


"Last year we saw some incredible teamwork, with students working together to develop performances about themes that were important to them," said Ealand.

"The most successful student teams took an idea and developed it, creating a performance that expressed a complex concept in an engaging, often funny or moving way. That is what we are expecting across the board for Showquest 2019."

Bream Bay College won last year's Showquest Northland and the school is back this year with its show An asylum seeker's journey to New Zealand.

Also taking part are Dargaville High School, with Grief; Dargaville Intermediate with Māori legend of Tamatane; Onerahi Primary School with Exploring heritage though visual pepeha and Whangārei Girls with Human trafficking.

Awards to be presented at the Northland event for the top three performances, as well as for soundtrack, choreography and technology.

Showquest Northland will be held at Forum North, Whangārei, tonight from 7pm, with tickets at the door.

It is also being staged in Nelson, Southland, Christchurch, Hawke's Bay, Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Tauranga. A national final will name the top entry nationwide in September.