New event to replace high school Stage Challenge thanks to $800k government cash injection

RockQuest Promotions is the new organiser for the national schools arts event to replace Stage Challenge.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the news today after Stage Challenge announced in January it would close after 25 years.

Mr Hipkins pledged support for a new event after the organiser of Stage Challenge and J Rock said they could no longer continue.

"I couldn’t stand by and let these events disappear," Mr Hipkins said in a statement.

"They are a great opportunity for young people to affirm and celebrate their culture and identity, be creative, and increase their confidence and leadership."

The events, which have yet to be named, will enable Year 1 to 13 students to engage in music, drama and dance in their local communities.

Successful performers will be offered the opportunity to perform in a national show.

The contract with Rockquest is for this year, funded by a one-off grant of $800,000 while the Ministry develops a longer term solution.

The Ministry has allocated nearly $300,000 to provide support for regional and national children’s performance. Source: Breakfast