A regional speech competition that's grown bigger than its national competition has prompted the separation of this year's Auckland Ngā Manu Kōrero contest into two regions, North and South.
Over 70 students competed over two days at last year's Auckland Regional Ngā Manu Kōrero Competitions, however there's a new format for 2015.
Organiser, Harley Maika says, “In previous years, only four out of maybe 60 competitors would advance on, and that's even bigger than the nationals competition, therefore the idea to increase the numbers going to nationals was suggested and the only way to achieve that was to split, so we have four from both regions.”
The southern Auckland region has been named Te Whaitua o Uenuku and will run for only one day next month.
Maika says, “We held many discussions with local tribes and they explained to us that Uenuku was the chief of this area in the early days, therefore we are pleased to revive his name, Uenuku.”
Although the competition for the Auckland region has been split in half, it's hoped that the standards of the speakers, English and Māori will be as high as previous years.
“We wish the best for all our speakers in their endeavours to maintain the Māori language, and of course to nurture and support the English language speakers of this competition as well. The ultimate goal is to achieve a place at the nationals,” says Maika.
So until both North and South Auckland competitions have finished, the benefits of this split will be realised.