Eyes on the Prize: The Te Paepae Kaka Trophy in the foreground as students from Riccarton High School and St Thomas' College perform their haka by Max Killoh

Ngā Manu Kōrero 2018

Ngā Manu Kōrero is a Māori speech competition that aims to encourage fluency in both Te Reo Māori and English among Māori secondary students.

It is a celebration of all things Māori and provides a platform for youth to voice their opinions on different issues and topics. Each year the regional Ngā Manu Kōrero competition is hosted by a different school and this year, Riccarton High School was lucky enough to host the competition.

The day started off on Friday the 22nd of June with a pōwhiri. The welcoming haka was performed by a combination of students from Riccarton High School and St Thomas’ of Canterbury College and it was a great way to start off the proceedings. 

Junior speakers would go on to compete with a prepared speech in either the Te Reo Māori or English junior speech competition, while senior speakers had to compete with an impromptu and prepared speech in either English or Te Reo Māori. 

From our school, we had Mia Robinson competing in the Junior English section, Thomas Chin competing in the Senior English section and Jasmine August competing in the Senior Māori section. All of our students had amazing speeches and Thomas Chin went on to win the overall regional competition. He will be heading off to Gisborne for the National Ngā Manu Kōrero competition in September this year.

Although a speech competition, Ngā Manu Kōrero is about more than just speeches and provides an opportunity for people to make new connections, celebrate the Māori culture and have a lot of fun. 

After both speeches from a school were finished, the school would then perform an item to tautoko (support) their speakers. Also throughout the day, the M.C.’s held interactive challenges with the audience like the singing competition that took place on the senior stage or the rap battle session on the junior stage. 

The Year 10 Riccarton Enterprise Studies class, along with various other food trucks, had food and drink for sale, much to the enjoyment of everyone else.

Students and teachers alike gave service to the school and helped to make Ngā Manu Kōrero a great celebration of the Māori culture. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and it was amazing to see Riccarton High School host such an incredible event.

Melanie Aitken