Day two of the Ngā Manu Kōrero Northland regional speech competitions was the day for senior speakers of both the English and Maori sections, Korimako and Pei Te Hurinui.
This year's focus is on strengthening the language, celebrating learning and acknowledging culture.
Shaylai Ngere from the Bay of Island College epitomized the theme when a fantail flittered above the stage as if in reply to her call for a blessing on the gathering before she began her speech on how the wood pidgeon coos, the dog barks and Māori continue to speak English.
Te Aroha Pawa of Pukemiro School in Kaitaia says, "It's a great event for our future leaders to express their ideas and hence I've come here to listen and to represent my family and my people."
Apart from the prepared speeches, the new impromptu section that is being tested in Northland this year, proved highly entertaining and very popular with the audience.
The passion of the senior English speakers in the Korimako section was evident with Geneva Ruri from Tikipunga High School who spoke of her plans to accompany war veterans back to Vietnam this year to show them how she will always be thankful for their service.
Kuao Moore from Te Wharekura o Te Rawhitiroa in Whangarei says, "This is about us showing our authority here at home with the hope that we are chosen to represent our region at the Nationals and on the marae."
A prestigious speech competition now in its 52nd year Nga Manu Korero continues to be a platform for some of the movers and shakers of the Māori world.
Whangarei Boys High School head boy Lance Baker says, "It's of utmost importance that we think Māori so that as Maori we have a safe passage in the world. This is one of the topics in the Sir James Henare section for impromptu speech."
The event ends tomorrow with the naming of the winners who will go on to represent Northland in September at the nationals to held in New Plymouth.