Topic: Ngā Manu Kōrero

Tainui Ngā Manu Kōrero celebrate 50 years

By Hone-Haunui Rapana
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Tainui secondary schools were celebrating a special milestone at this year's Manu Kōrero competition, but the outlook for the future of the event is looking a little cloudy.

The speeches today entertain, informed and made statements during the regional competition.

Hera Mason from Rākaumanga says, “Young people really do try to bring the language out to share, but once they leave these places they start speaking English.”

10 schools stood in total, while celebrating a special milestone this year.

Judge Kingi Kiriona says, “Although the high quality of speakers we have today, how can we get more to participate.  We're celebrating 50 years today and the life or death of this event is in our hands.”

The Manu Kōrero for Waikato-Tainui ran differently with the impromptu speeches going before the prepared speeches.

Although the number of participating schools were low, those who did stand, used the competition to voice matters that the youth think are relevant.

Te Paea Ngapo from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura says, “I attend these type of events and I know the language is well and truly alive, but when I return to my community it's not heard anywhere, that's what concerns me.”

Some students used the skills of kapa haka to perform their speech.

Kaysharn's approach was to change outfits to display different characters.

Kaysharn Kingi-Takoko says, “The topic was about the whether the languages should be put to rest, so I used a minister, an elder man, and to show how they work together to put the language to rest as if it  was a person."

The overall results are:

Pei Te Hurinui Jones (Senior Māori) - Te Paea Ngapo from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura

Rāwhiti Ihaka (Junior Māori) - Kauri Te Pana from Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere

Korimako (Senior English) - Stacy-Ria Te Kurapa-King of Tai Wānanga

Tā Turi Kara (Junior English) - Peata Waitai of Tai Wānanga

They will represent Tainui in September at the national competition in Wellington.