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Toi Ohomai hosting prestigious speech contest

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Around 200 secondary school students are set to descend on Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s Mokoia Campus in Rotorua this week, to participate in and support a competition for speech-making supremacy.

The annual Te Arawa Regional Manu Korero contest will be held at the institute. The competition will involve four sections – Ta Turi Kara - junior English, Rawhiti Ihaka - junior Maori, Korimako - senior English and Pei Te Hurinui - senior Māori.

Students will choose to speak on a topic from a range of different categories including te reo me ona tikanga, education, whanau - aspects of Maori life and culture.

Their discourses will be judged by a panel and the winners will go on to represent the Te Arawa region at the Nga Manu Korero 2019 National School Speech Contest in Palmerston North in September.

The chairperson of the organising committee, Te Arawa Pouako i te Reo, Rie Morris says there are several benefits to participating in Manu Korero.

She says while there is no single overarching theme this year, encouraging Te Arawatanga – or being proud to belong to Te Arawa – is always a key objective of the event.

“It is a celebration and acknowledgement of our rangatahi from secondary schools within the region of Te Arawa. Some are chosen speakers, and orators for and of their respective schools, representing their iwi, hapu, marae and whanau.

“It is a space in which our culture, people and language thrive, a kaupapa where we build on and form relationships, or whakawhanaunga, with other kura and people from our rohe. It is an occasion where we get to feel proud of who we are and what taonga we have.”   

Rie says the competitors speeches will be judged on a range of criteria.

“In my opinion, a ‘good speech’ is one that is captivating, humorous, relatable, personal and informative. A "good" speaker is one who is confident, well-rehearsed, engaging, convincing, and has heart.”

Toi Ohomai’s Head of Marketing Jess Barnett says the institute decided to sponsor the event because it is an excellent opportunity to support rangatahi at an important event for Te Arawa.

“We love seeing secondary school students on campus and having the opportunity to be a part in the development of skills and confidence of Māori students.”

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