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Kuranui College & Levin East School Take Top Prizes In Showquest, NZ's Largest Performing Arts Competition For Schools

Kuranui College from Wellington have taken out the top spot in the National Final for Showquest, the country's largest performing arts competition for schools.

The Kuranui team themed their piece around the Waikeria prison riots. Anna Laybourn, a student leader on the Kuranui College team, explained they had decided on that theme “because it wasn’t really talked about at all. It’s pretty important and we needed to get that message out to a bigger audience”.

In the Junior section, available as an option for teams of students years 1-8, Levin East School from the Manawatū region took out the winning spot nationally. Their piece was themed around how the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the world.

Showquest National Coordinator Kelsey Moller says Showquest entrants this year have shown great enthusiasm for creating, performing and sharing their stories on stage.

“It is incredibly moving to see the next generation of creative forces emerging and making their voices heard,” said Moller. “This year, we have been struck by the deep themes rangatahi chose to tackle, including mental health, climate change, Covid-19 and bullying. It's really inspiring to see them raising awareness in a creative and positive way.”

Teams were judged by a panel of Grace Palmer, Rawiri Jobe, Xavier Breed and Fiona Armstrong on their technical and production skills, performance, movement, and overall theme.

Actor Rawiri Jobe said it was amazing to see the imagination and depth of talent in this year's national Showquest finalists.

“I was blown away by the amount of stars rising up through the ranks across the board. The arts is something I am super passionate about and to see young people performing with the same enthusiasm makes me so happy. Everyone involved should be incredibly proud of their mahi and what they have achieved. It’s going to be a hard year to top.”

The complete list of awards for the Showquest National Final is:

1st place - Kuranui College (Wellington)
2nd place - Tai Wananga (Waikato)
3nd place - Macleans College (Auckland)

ZM Choice Award - James Hargest College (Southland)
Best Cultural Story - Tai Wananga (Waikato)
NZ Music Commission Live Music Award - Melicen Barber and Mathew Schack, Logan Park High School (Otago)
ZM Soundtrack Award - Waimea College (Nelson) and Burnside High School (Christchurch)
Most Effective Use of Live Music - Tai Wananga (Waikato)
Theme Award - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterang (Bay of Plenty) and Whangarei Girls' High School (Northland)
Drama Award - Kuranui College (Wellington)
Choreography Award - Kuranui College (Wellington)
Lighting Award - Whanganui Girls' College (Northland)
Most Effective Use of LED Video Wall - Kuranui College (Wellington) and Macleans College (Auckland)
Costume & Enhancement Award - Tai Wananga (Waikato) and Whanganui Girls' College (Northland)
Best Use of Props Award - James Hargest College (Southland)
Best Use of Wearable Art - Woodford House (Hawkes Bay) 
Outstanding Rangatahi (Star of the Show) Award - Earl Jr Segua from Burnside High School (Christchurch) and Hunter Cranfield from Mt Aspiring College (Otago)

1st place - Levin East School (Manawatū)
2nd place - Northcross Intermediate (Auckland)
3rd place - Kamo Intermediate (Northland)

ZM Choice Award - Kaiapoi North School (Canterbury)
Best Cultural Story - St Joseph's School (Nelson)
ZM Soundtrack Award - St Joseph's School (Nelson)
Most Effective Use of Live Music - Kamo Intermediate (Northland)
Theme Award - Kamo Intermediate (Northland)
Drama Award - Northcross Intermediate (Auckland)
Choreography Award - Levin East School (Manawatū)
Lighting Award - Devon Intermediate (Taranaki)
Most Effective Use of LED Video Wall - Levin East School (Manawatū)
Costume & Enhancement Award - Southwell School (Waikato) and Lynmore Primary School (Bay of Plenty)
Best Use of Props - Kaiapoi North School (Canterbury) and Rimu Full Primary (Southland)
Best Use of Wearable Art - Ardmore School (Auckland)
Outstanding Rangatahi (Star of the Show) Award - Abbie Franklin, Kamo Intermediate (Northland)

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