Whanganui High School band The Remnant scooped the Te Reo award in the Tangata Beats competition at the national Smokefreerockquest final.
The competition was held in Auckland on Friday, September 21.
The Remnant - Wiremu Rogan, Cypress Kani-Hurinui, Joshua Waitai, Chester Nevil and Toka Poa - won $500 cash for the band for the best use of te reo, music teacher Brent Holt said.
"It was fantastic as a first time at a national event," Holt said.
"They've been interviewed by Maori Television. They loved it. They got to mingle with other kids from smaller regional centres as well as Auckland kids. There was heaps of talent there.
"Wiremu wrote one of the songs for his grandfather, who passed away last year. It's really beautiful stuff. That would have been the clincher in terms of getting the category award."
Holt said the band only got together part-way through this year and would likely go their separate ways when four of them left school at the end of the year. However, 14-year-old Chester would carry on with music at the school.
It was a big weekend for Wiremu who then joined other Whanganui High School students on a trip to China to meet sister school students.