Supporting high school students’ creative development through Smokefree

Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats are New Zealand’s only nationwide, original live music, youth events that provide opportunities for secondary school students to showcase their musical talents in their regions and, if successful, at the national final competitions.

These events help  connect young people to their peers, music teachers and family, which are all important protective factors in developing healthy young people who are more likely to stay in school and less likely to be involved in risky behaviours such as smoking.


Smokefreerockquest aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers. It has been steadily growing over the past 28 years – today two-thirds of all New Zealand secondary schools (over 800 bands) participate in the competition, and audience numbers exceed 10,000 every year. 

Check out how to get involved in Smokefreerockquest and where and when the events are on near you.

Smokefree Pacifica Beats

Smokefree Pacifica Beats is the sister event to Smokefreerockquest.  It started in 1994, originally within the Smokefreefreerockquest competition.

Involvement in the competition helps keep young people connected to their schools, peers and positive adult role models. It also gives them a goal to work towards, something to aspire to and creates a contemporary connection to Māori and Pacific culture. 

The Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific. To qualify, the students’ original songs and or performance must feature at least two of the following cultural criteria: language, dance, use of instrument and/or cultural identity. 

Find out more about more about Smokefree Pacifica Beats.

Ruby Walsh talks about 2013 Smokefree Pacifica Beats and Smokefreerockquest

Ruby Walsh - road trip music video

Lucas Wharekura from Strangely Arousing talks about 2013 Smokefree Pacifica Beats and Smokefreerockquest

Strangely Arousing – road trip music video

Strangely Arousing and Ruby Walsh talk about 2013 Smokefree Pacifica Beats and Smokefreerockquest