Far North speakers shine (Northern News)

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STUDENTS from Far North schools have scooped most of the trophies at this year’s Nga Manu Korero Taitokerau speech contest.

By RICHARD EDMONDSON

Eleven of the 15 first, second and third places at the contest in Whangarei last month were won by secondary students at schools in Awanui, Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Moerewa, Opononi and Taipa.

Students placed first and second at the contest, which attracted 63 contestants from 24 schools north of Auckland, will represent Northland at the national contest in Dunedin in September.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe year 11 student Wiremu Edmonds is delighted to have won the Pei Te Hurinui Jones trophy for his 12-minute speech in te reo Maori on whether cannabis should be legalised.

Wiremu says years of speaking on marae and at Ratana church services prepared him for the challenge of speaking in front of the 700 students and supporters who attended the contest at Kamo High School.

“I didn’t know I could win,” he says.

“I just about cried.”

Kura principal Heeni-Raiha Dunn says being able to send a student to the national contest for the first time is a significant milestone for the 17-year-old Maori language school and proof that its staff and 105 students are fulfilling their ancestors’ wishes.

“We have been advised not to let our language become like the moa.”

She says the kura’s kaumatua Nau Epiha can take a lot of credit for nurturing te reo Maori at the school.

Wiremu’s parents Dalla and Donna Edmonds say their son’s win is a big honour for their hapu Ngati Whakaeke and Ngati Rehia.

Contest organiser Lucille Spring is pleased that more Maori boys took part in the contest this year, especially in the Maori-speaking section which girls have dominated in recent years.

She was also impressed by students from Opononi Area School (Joe Vaughan Rakete-Tane) and Te Rangi Aniwaniwa (Te Niiwai Mutu) who contested two sections and were placed in both.

“We consider this an outstanding achievement.”

Nga Manu Korero – Tai Tokerau 2010:

Bay of Islands College, Kawakawa: Ian Tauhinu: First in the Ta Timi Henare (bilingual) section.

Kerikeri High School: BJ Rogers: First in the Korimako (senior English) section.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe: Wiremu Edmonds: First in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones (senior Maori) section.

Northland College, Kaikohe: Jessica Hita: Second in the Ta Turi Kara (junior English) section. Tawini White: Third in the Ta Timi Henare (bilingual) section.

Opononi Area School: Joe Vaughan Rakete-Tane: Third in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones (senior Maori) and Korimako (senior English) sections.

Taipa Area School: Wiripo Manuera: Third in the Rawhiti Ihaka (junior Maori) section.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Taumarere, Moerewa: Te Wairere Waiomio-Cassidy: Second in the Rawhiti Ihaka (junior Maori) section.

Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, Awanui: Te Niiwai Mutu: Second in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones (senior Maori) and Ta Timi Henare (bilingual) sections.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/northland/local-news/northern-news/3785981/Far-North-speakers-shine

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