The annual regional Māori speech competitions were hosted this year by the University of Canterbury and Te Waka Pākākāno, at the end of Term Two.
For the very first time, this auspicious occasion was held over two days on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July. Thirty of our kapa haka members headed to the University to watch the speeches and support our three speakers who were competing against some of the best young orators from Canterbury and Timaru.
Thursday started with the pōwhiri and then the senior impromptu speeches followed. The senior and junior prepared sections were held on Friday.
A highlight for our kura this year was the manaakitanga that was shown to our staff and students e.g kai after the pōwhiri, friendly staff, food trucks, beautifully set up speaking venues and fantastic organisation.
This year our Junior speakers were Stella Crossan and Aromea Lee-Reiri both from year ten.
Aromea gave an impassioned speech in Te Reo Māori about the loss and renewal of the Māori language within her own whānau. She is to be commended for her perseverance and for presenting a thoughtful speech on the day.
Stella spoke about resilience, using her own experience as a competitive kapa haka performer as the base of her speech.
Both girls spoke with mana and were a pleasure to watch.
Elise Walker of Year 13 represented the school in the Senior English section and was rewarded for her efforts with a commendable fifth placing for her prepared speech. She also spoke about resilience and wove through her speech, a mihi to all of our Canterbury young people who have had to learn to be resilient after experiencing the earthquakes and other traumatic events.
All of our speakers and supporters were wonderful representatives of our school. Manu Kōrero is always a highlight of our year and we are very grateful to the University of Canterbury for their fantastic hosting.
Thanks must be given to Mrs O'Neill for coming along to support the speakers and Ms Sisifa for her wonderful support on the day. Also thanks to Whaea Grace, Mrs Garrett and Ms Tinworth for helping our speakers with their preparations.