At RQP, we believe in the transformative power of the arts. We know that youth growing up in Aotearoa have more opportunities but also more struggles than the generations before - like mental health, anxiety, climate change, a rapidly changing social media landscape and peer pressures. 

We can act as the “fence at the top of the cliff” by giving young people tangible skills, a sense of belonging, a platform to amplify their voice, achievement and above all - hope.

What started as a small idea to run a high school band competition in the 1980’s has developed over 35 years and is now embedded in the youth experience of each generation. Our focus is no longer on the competition or the individual event but on the collective power of these experiences upon young people.

We are an innovative Aotearoa-owned and operated organisation. The existence of our seven programmes contributes to an inclusive & diverse arts sector where young people can thrive.

Our programmes are accessible nationwide and deeply interconnected - designed for rangatahi to move through different programmes through their adolescence. Each year we reach over 12,000 students, 30,000 live audience members and hundreds of thousands of active online community. We have genuine connection with the young people that participate and foster meaningful ongoing mentorship opportunities for them. 

“Looking back on the enormous changes in education, music, and kids' lives in this time, and then to look forward to the future… Well, none of us knows what this will hold. But we do know that the arts in education play a huge role in helping our young people to face the future with a set of skills that give them flexibility, creativity, ability to cooperate and work in groups. Skills they can apply in life wherever it takes them.” 
- Pete Rainey, RQP founder

"It is more than simply a performance. It's being a part of a family, it's learning when to persevere when things don't work out and it's knowing when to accept failures and grow from them. The best part about participating is the many lessons I have learned."

Age 17, Manawatū
"Many times before, I was teased and bullied for my interests in dancing and acting. Since I was a boy, everyone thought that I would be “sporty” and because I wasn’t, I was judged. Showquest has given me the opportunity to show myself for who I am. It has allowed me to communicate, cooperate and cancel out other’s thoughts. I can now fit in freely without judgement!"

Age 12, Auckland
"I've gained more than I could possibly have imagined by being part of these events - I am more confident and skilled in writing, sharing, collaborating and performing, and I can really see a future for me in music. I've had incredible opportunities for personal and creative growth and mentoring and I would not be where I am today without them."

Age 15, Nelson
“The best thing was being able to participate in something so much bigger than me, and being able to meet other fellow film-makers and lovers from all over the country. Films are beautiful and I’m so happy to meet others who are as passionate in this craft.”

Age 17, Auckland
"Winning this competition has taught us a lot about ourselves, but most importantly, it has shown us that with Whānaungatanga, Rangatiratanga, and Manaakitanga, anything is achievable. If any upcoming bands are interested in pursuing the same journey, we hope our experience can inspire you to follow your dreams. Te Whānau Puoro ki te Whaiao, ki Te Ao mārama. Haumi E, Hui E, Taiki E!"

Te Whānau Puoro, Smokefree Tangata Beats 2023 1st Place
“Music, at its core, serves as a platform for creativity, composition, and performance, fostering personal growth, self-expression, and skill development. Smokefreerockquest embodies these values, offering our students the opportunity to explore their musical talents and fine-tune their creativity, all while achieving the majority of their NCEA music credits in composition and performance. We also commend Smokefreerockquest for its inclusive ethos, offering a warm and welcoming platform where neurodivergent students can flourish, celebrating musical diversity and providing clear guidelines and support tailored to all students, fostering a sense of belonging and accomplishment.”

Birkenhead College, Smokefreerockquest
“Thank you for the incredible experience you gave our ākonga. The platform you gave our students has really established a sense of pride amongst the group - it was a great opportunity for them to be immersed in a creative space and work as a team in the arts. I've never attended such a professionally run large-scale event. Your crew were tight, showed patience, were professional, and so full of joy. I know the opportunity you've provided has made a notable difference in some of our students' lives. In the case of some of our students, it's provided them with something to come to school for.” 

Maidstone Intermediate, Showquest