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Band & Musician News - Hawkes Bay High School Band Named National Winners in Prestigious Music Competition

Hawkes Bay High School Band Named National Winners in Prestigious Music Competition

16 September 2023 - 0 Comments

Tonight (15 September) Te Whānau Puoro (pictured) from Flaxmere College and Tamatea High School have taken out first place at the National Final of Smokefree Tangata Beats at Q theatre.

Shayne Te Kuru (vocals, pūtātara) of Te Whānau Puoro said that winning was “amazing”.

“This is honestly beyond what we wanted to achieve. Our main goal was to put out our message.” said Te Kuru. “We just want to get our message across that our generation, this generation, we are still aware of the impacts of what colonisation and land confiscation has upon us… We just want people to know that we are still here, and we will forever be here.”

They have won $3,000 in musical equipment from Rockshop and a NZ On Air NewTracks recording, video and promo grant.  Their line up is Shayne Te Kuru (vocals, pūtātara), Aroha Sellwood (vocals, guitar), Izrael Shields (guitar), Naiara Marshall (keys), Hohua Mitai-Price (bass) and Koha Sellwood (drums)

In second place was Mystery from Alfriston College. Levi Singsam (keys), Boston Ikurere (bass), David Vincent-Kelekolio (drums), Christian Popata (keys), Fajzelh Stevenson (vocals), Fhallon Stevenson (vocals), Trinity Saumani (vocals), and Therese Sanele (vocals).
First place in the solo/duo duo category, winning $1000 cash, went to Twin Harmony from Shirley Boys High School in Christchurch. The duo is made up of twins Tane Pakeha-Heke and Aka Pakeha-Heke, who both feature on guitar and vocals.

When asked about what they love about performing together, Tane Pakeha-Heke said: “since we are twin brothers, and we have been together since the womb, it’s the type of relationship that you can’t get from anyone else. We love music. The more we can give the message of no more violence and we are all in this together, whānau for whānau, then we will happily do so no matter our kaupapa and no matter what's going on.”

The judges at the event were Petrina Togi-Sa'ena (of the Pacific Music Awards), Reuben Butler (of the Modern Māori Quartet), Lucky Lance (of Team Dynamite), and Tree (musician Katrina Manu).

Smokefree Tangata Beats is made possible by the support of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga - The Ministry of Education, The Wright Family Foundation, NZ Rockshop, Ministry of Youth Development, Creative NZ, Four Winds Foundation, Lion Foundation, and Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

The full list of awards from the Smokefree Tangata Beats regional final:
1st place band - Te Whānau Puoro - Flaxmere College, Tamatea High School
2nd place band - Mystery - Alfriston College
3rd place band - Reckless - Rutherford Junior High, Whanganui Intermediate
1st place solo/duo - Twin Harmony, Shirley Boys High School
Musicianship award - Mystery (bass player) - Alfriston College
Smokefree Mana Wahine Award - Mahuika - Onslow College
NZ Music Commission Best Song - Knelle Marsters - Papatoetoe High School
Smokefree Best Vocal - Knelle Marsters - Papatoetoe High School
Te Reo Award - Mahuika - Onslow College

The Director of Health Promotion at the National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora, Kathrine Clarke, said that Smokefreerockquest, and Smokefree Tangata Beats (which runs alongside), are such important kaupapa for our communities.

“Young People have amazing talent and showcasing this is important. Positive outlets such as Smokefreerockquest, Smokefree Tangata Beats should be celebrated. This is why we are proud to have supported Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats for nearly 35 years. Smoking-related long-term conditions can have a huge impact on our
communities. It is the youth of today who will carry this kaupapa forward by encouraging their peers and whānau to stop smoking or to not start.”

“Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats is such an important kaupapa for our communities. We love seeing our rangatahi come together with resilience, mana and creativity to express themselves through music. Being smokefree and vapefree means honouring your art and performing at your best. It means you’re looking after your wellbeing and wairua and celebrating every breath.”

Entrants in Smokefree Tangata Beats competed over winter in 35 heats and finals from Invercargill to Whangarei, held in conjunction with Smokefreerockquest. The national finalists were selected from videos sent by the regional winners and judged by a panel from the NZ music industry. Smokefree Tangata Beats entrants include elements of Māori or Pasifika culture in their performance.  

Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum; plus Ria Hall, Spacifix, Adeaze, Strangely Arousing and Alien Weaponry.  

The full list of awards made at the national final is:  
1st place wins - $3k of musical equipment from the Rockshop, plus an $8k NZ On Air Recording and Video Grant, and promotion, mentoring and on-going support from the Rockquest Promotions team
2nd place wins - $1500 of musical equipment from the Rockshop, and a song professionally recorded
3rd place band wins - $500 worth of music gear from NZ Rockshop
Solo/Duo award wins - $1k  of musical equipment from the Rockshop
Musicianship Award wins  - $500 cash  
Smokefree Mana Wahine Award wins - $500 cash  
NZ Music Commission Best Song Award wins - $500 cash  
Smokefree Best Vocals Award wins - $500 cash  
Te Reo Award wins - $500 cash

Photo Credit: Chontalle Musson

Next: Smokefreerockquest 2023 National Finals Results

Prev: The Beths Release Deluxe Version Of 'Expert In A Dying Field'


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