Smokefree Tangata Beats is a live, original music, nationwide, youth event that recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The event started in 1994 as the Urban Beats Award within Smokefreerockquest. The event has steadily built over the years into a competition in its own right, and was originally called Smokefree Pacifica Beats. It was renamed as Smokefree Tangata Beats for 2018 to be more inclusive.

The Smokefree Tangata Beats competition aims to be a platform for developing and growing young music talent in Aotearoa. It has been a nurturing ground for young artists who are successful today, such as Nesian Mystik – Nesian Mystik are the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.

Smokefree Tangata Beats aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability with cultural relevance and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers, and to encourage their peers to support 100% original Aotearoa Kiwi music.

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Dates for 2021

Kia ora e te whanau,
With Auckland Level 4 Lockdown now confirmed as extended to at least 15th September, it is no longer possible for us to hold our Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats national finals live on the 17-18th September.

Instead, we are putting in place filming for an Level 2 Audience-less National Final later on in the year, which will be live streamed.

We are sad to have to announce this, and understand there will be disappointment.  As always, our aim is to provide a platform that is as fair and safe as possible, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, and this will continue to guide our decisions.

Ticket buyers will have received emails with information to get their tickets refunded, and if you have not - you can contact Q theatre directly (qtheatre.co.nz).

We'll be in touch soon with more information, and are looking forward to the new (adapted) National Finals to come later on in the year.
- Rockquest Promotions Team


Event Date



We’d love to hear from you:
Instagram - @tangatabeats
Facebook - @tangatabeats
YouTube - @rockquest

Email us – help@smokefreerockquest.co.nz

Phone us – (03) 545 6574

Write to us – PO Box 568, Nelson


We are extremely grateful for our wonderful sponsors.
Without them, Smokefree Tangata Beats would not be possible.



Who can enter Smokefree Tangata Beats?
When are entries due?
What are the Smokefreerockquest Conditions of Entry?
Can people play in more than one band, 
or enter in a band AND as a soloist?
Can we add, remove or change the members of our band once we’ve entered into Smokefree Tangata Beats?
What happens if one of our band members 
leaves school after we enter?
We entered a while ago but haven’t heard back or 
received any information. What should we do?
How do we change the band name that we entered into Smokefree Tangata Beats?
My band is pulling out of Smokefree Tangata Beats. Who do we contact to let know?
Who do I contact if an entrant, or their friends or whanau who will be attending an event, has ACCESSIBILITY requirements?


Smokefree Tangata Beats (www.sftb.nz)

Alongside SFRQ is Smokefree Tangata Beats. This event, again run nationwide for school age students, recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Participants must incorporate Te Reo Māori or a Polynesian language, instruments, dance or movement in their performance. The event motivates young musicians to express themselves with cultural relevance, and to encourage their peers to support original Aotearoa Kiwi music.  

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