A small Rotorua kura has outshone its competitors at the Bay of Plenty Showquest.
Twenty-seven students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hurungaterangi have been dancing, planning and practicing over the past five weeks to put together their piece, Lost Boy.
The hybrid digital, song, dance and drama production tells the story of a young man who finds strength in Māoritanga to fight for his future.
The students' efforts paid off on Wednesday night when they took home first prize.
The kura also swept up Best Choreography, Best Theme, the Tikanga Award, and the ZM Soundtrack Award.
Hurungaterangi Show Quest student captain Waireti Honana told the Rotorua Daily Post that all the students had put their hearts and souls into the performance.
"This story is dedicated to us. This was for all of us," Honana said.
"We wanted to show everyone what we've been going through.
"It's about the struggles happening for kids on the block and about how love and community help you move forward to your goals."
Every Showquest production must be student-led so Honana and her classmates have been staying after school, sometimes as late as 9pm, to rehearse and put together the soundtrack and digital elements.
"We all work as one," Honana said.
"What I'm most proud of is that [even] all the students who didn't want to do it put themselves all in. The older kids helped the younger kids and we've made our parents, our school, our teachers and our community proud."
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hurungaterangi has a roll of 83 students. Of that, 42 students are in intermediate and high school, with 27 year 7 to 13 students taking part in the Showquest production.
"We're just a little kura," head of wharekura Mereana Ngatai said.
"We've always wanted our kids to have the chance to be involved.
"We went over to participate and we came away with a lot of firsts. It was an amazing experience."
Ngatai said she was impressed by the amount of hard work students put in behind-the-scenes.
"They were coming in every day to practice."
Showquest event producer Lucy Wymer said Lost Boy was a "special" and "stand-out" production.
"It was special to see them tackle the story of their own community and to share it with us," Wymer said.
"Everyone in the audience was really touched by it. The story hit close to home."
Showquest is a national competition open to all school students. Contestants have one night to impress the judges with their choreography, drama, lighting, sound and digital storytelling.
All performances are recorded on the night. Then the videos of regional winners are judged together to decide who comes first in New Zealand.