Despite the high number of young Māori speakers at the Te Arawa Regional Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition, the revitalisation of the language continues to be a popular topic.
The abundance of speakers amongst Te Arawa youth continues to flourish.
But they all share the same concerns for the Māori language.
Rawiri Manley says, “The Māori language is dying. We, as Māori, should support events like this and stand strong for the language.”
Tamihana Gardiner says, “This is one way we can help lift the language, help tribes and sub-tribes to speak and work together.”
Waiariki Institute of Technology Māori lecturer Anaha Hiini wants more Māori teachers to think about the future of the Māori language.
Anaha Hiini says, “I said to the teachers this morning, we need to go back and learn the Māori language, so we understand points like grammar and syntax and can identify different dialects.”
But the history of this regional competition was based on up-skilling the English language.
Teacher at Rotorua Boys High School, Wairangi Jones says, “Te Arawa has come to compete and from this competition, we'll see the students reach their potential.”
From this competition, four speakers will then represent the region at the National Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competitions in September in Porirua.