Topic: Ngā Manu Kōrero

Senior students take centre stage at Ngā Manu Kōrero Nationals

By Heta Gardiner
  • Wellington

The seniors got their shot at the Manu Kōrero speech competition today with the impromptu and prepared speeches.  For some, it was a daunting task.  But for others, it was an oppotunity to shine. 

The voice of youth being heard far and wide. For some, it was hard to find the right words.

Despite the playful nature of the audience, it was all business on stage. 

Vying for the Pei Te Hurinui and Kirimako trophies was the call of the day. 

They were also adjusting to a new structure, having the impromptu sections first. 

Te Hurutea ā Rangi Tahuri says, "I liked the structure from years past better, having the prepared speech before the impromptu. That way you have more time to get yourself ready for the prepared speech."

Tauawhi Bonilla says, "This new structure started last year and we were all worried. But once we stood, I think the majority of the speakers found it easier to have the impromptu first as a stage warm up for the prepared speech. "

There was extra responsibility on the shoulders of the student from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna as his region was up first. 

Bonilla says, "The pressure comes from all angles! Being the host region, being the 50th birthday, the pressure from friends and family."

But it was worth it. Praise from a speaker who's had world recognition in this field. 

Kingi Biddle says, "I was impressed with the depth of their speeches and their fearlessness." 

The competition finishes tomorrow. 

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