Three-piece funk rock band Intervene, from Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Western Heights High School and Reporoa College have taken out first place at this year's Rotorua regional Smokefreerockquest final.

The final was held at the Great Lake Centre in Taupō on Friday night.

The band only formed this year but has practised hard for the competition, and for Meihana McGee, 15, the singer and bass player, all the work was worth it.

"I like that we're all mates - we enjoy making music and spending time together.


"We've spent six months working to get here, now we're here and we're enjoying it."

The other members of Intervene are Jack Asplin on drums, and John Gidlon on guitar. McGee also won the Smokefree Best Vocal Award.

Second place in the band category went to rock band Vital Approach, whose members are Mitchell Anderson on drums, Arapeta Henderson on vocals, Anthony Walshe and Matthew Haynes on guitar, and Jonathan Walker on bass.

The solo-duo winner for Rotorua was Samantha McCutchan from Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, and second went to Michaela Pointon from Tauhara College.

The four acts have won musical gear from sponsors NZ Rockshop, and have the opportunity to gain selection for the national final in September.

Smokefreerockquest founder and director Glenn Common said there were more bands than ever before reaching the high standard required from national finalists.

"This means that real dedication is required to achieve the 'stand out quality' that the judges will be looking for," he said.

"They have to capture 15 minutes of their original material on video for selection as national finalists.


"It's a process that demands creativity and musical ability, being able to work together as a group and having good organisational skills. What separates them out is perseverance – industry success seldom happens overnight."

The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play off at the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, preceded by the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21.

Full list of awards
Band 1st - Intervene, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Western Heights High School, Reporoa College
Band 2nd - Vital Approach, Western Heights High School
Band 3rd - D5R3, Rotorua Boys' High School
Solo/Duo 1st - Samantha McCutchan, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Solo/Duo 2nd - Michaela Pointon, Tauhara College
ZM People's Choice - In The Resource Room, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Smokefree Best Vocals - Meihana McGee of Intervene, Taupo-nui-a-Tia Coll, Western Heights High School, Reporoa College
MAINZ Musicianship - Hohua Aramoana of In The Resource Room, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Best Song - Vital Approach, Western Heights High School
Fatboy Style Award - Brooke More of Threshold from Tauhara College
APRA Lyric Writers' Award - Michaela Pointon from Tauhara College