Clicking at a course about group performance has paid of for a band from the country's most northerly area school, with Pig Hunters, from Taipa Area School, winning the Te Tai Tokerau Smokefree Tangata Beats competition.
The six-piece won a prize package from the Rockshop and go into the national selection pool for the event's live national final.
Taipa Area School music teacher Christian McDonald said the band met in a course around group performance and clicked.
"They all have something to bring to the team, they get along well with each other. It's like opposites attract - they are so different, yet so very similar in terms of their passion and enthusiasm to make, play and have fun with music," McDonald said.
The full lineup for the Pig Hunters are Tiare Lanigan and Te Atenga Raui on vocals, Waiwais Tait on electric guitar, Tawhiri Mateparae on keyboard, William Moore on bass and Soli Fox on drums.
Smokefree Tangata Beats is run alongside Smokefreerockquest with a focus on the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific. Entrants are encouraged to explore and celebrate the ways in which identity and culture is woven into the contemporary music they are writing.
The competing bands and solo/duos in each region submitted video entries for consideration in this year's competition, adapting to earlier restrictions on public gatherings.
Rockquest founder and director Glenn Common said although Smokefree Tangata Beats works within a competitive framework, the main thing is participation.
"To be able to provide a platform for young people to share their voice is very meaningful. Music is such a fantastic channel for self-expression, and Smokefree Tangata Beats, alongside Smokefreerockquest, creates a supportive environment in which this can be shared amongst friends, whanau and the community," Common said.
The finalists announcement will be on August 7, with these acts then competing live at the national final at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in Auckland on September 11.
Alien Weaponry, a thrash metal band from Waipū making waves internationally for their music, much sung in te reo Māori, are previous national Tangata Beats winners from Northland.