RQP is NZ’s largest provider of creative arts opportunities outside the classroom, with an unparalleled reach across Aotearoa and an engaged network of teachers, students and whānau. We have Level 3 NZ Govt Social Sector Accreditation and registered charitable status to provide cornerstone support via our Charitable Trusts. We nurture rangatahi to be empowered explorers, creative pioneers, and inspired individuals through a nurturing and holistic development environment, fostering their ability to thrive in a world of boundless possibilities.


We have a small, highly skilled and dedicated team that brings their diverse skills together to create world-class events. Above all, we love the arts and are passionate about supporting young rangatahi in finding their passions.

RQP founders Glenn Common and Pete Rainey were honoured with the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Music in 2013, and continue to lead the team that now runs this NZ institution from offices in Nelson and Auckland. In 2021, Pete and Glenn were recognised for their contributions to New Zealand music through the Independent Spirit Award at the Taite Music Awards awards. The award was granted to them for their contributions to music via Smokefreerockquest, celebrating “33 years of motivating young musicians and helping them to develop their talent and creativity, musicianship, and performance skills.”

Our wider community extends to the New Zealand music industry, where we work with APRA, Recorded Music NZ, promoters, producers, recording labels, and radio and TV networks. Dubbed our Hall of Fame, musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30+ year history include Broods, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous.

Past entrants remain part of our community and continue to come back and support the next generation going through the Smokefreerockquest experience - lending their time and experience through judging, mentorship, performance and resource creation.

Matt Ealand

General Manager

Kelsey Moller

Partnerships & Project Manager

Georgia Parker

Communications Manager

Drew McCormack

Creative Manager

Sarah Karika

Relationship & Event Coordinator

Abi Penaliggon

Youth Development Manager

Pete Rainey


Glenn Common



It all started in 1988 with Smokefreerockquest, which has since become an legendary institution for young musicians, with a well-documented and profound impact on the NZ music industry. The inspiration for the very first event came when founders Pete Rainey and Glenn Common saw the benefit of a platform for high school students to play live on a professionally equipped stage, expressing their talent and creativity all while developing their musicianship and performance skills. 

Smokefree Tangata Beats
was developed in 1998 to recognise and support performances & performers that reflect the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa and the South Pacific.

Rockshop Bandquest launched for junior students in 2012, providing a development pathway and confidence-building programme for the next generation of musicians. 

With the support of the Ministry of Education, Showquest was developed as the leading nationwide student performing arts platform in 2018 - supporting expression through Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Culture & Technology. Part of Showquest is a student wearable art programme run in collaboration with the World of WearableArt, which launched in 2018 and rebranded as Toi in 2020.

Due to exciting technological advancements in the creative sector and a desire to reach more creative students, we have recently been focusing on digital-based platforms. Short filmmaking challenge OnScreen and photography platform Stills launched in 2021 and have been going from strength to strength.

In 2023 we partnered with the Ministry of Youth Development on our flagship Creative Leadership Development programme to create additional youth development & mentoring opportunities for student leaders year-round - focused on tangible wellbeing support.

We also partner with the Ministry of Health via Smokefree to promote health messaging to rangatahi, particularly at-risk, isolated and Māori and Pasifika youth.