Ngā Manu Kōrero 2024


On Friday 24 May, seven schools from across the region participated in the 2024 Ngā Manu Kōrero Māori Speech Competition.

Ariana Banks (Year 9) represented Ҵý in the Te Rāwhiti Īhaka Junior Māori section and received second place overall, which is an outstanding achievement for the 13-year-old. It was her first time giving a speech in te reo Māori and Ariana was both nervous and excited.

The title of her speech was, “Ake ake ake toitu te tiriti” which translates to, “Long live the treaty” or “Uphold the treaty.” Ariana started her speech by discussing the importance of Aotearoa’s declaration of independence, and how that is fundamental to the nature of Te Tiriti, noting that the treaty was an agreement between two sovereign nations. She then talked about what the treaty is and the fact that some are suggesting that we should get rid of it. Ariana did a deep dive into the three articles of the treaty, looking at what might happen if the treaty were to be disregarded. 

Xanthe Banks (Year 13) once again did exceptionally well and received the following accolades in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones Senior Māori Section:

  • First in prepared speech
  • First equal in impromptu section
  • First place overall (third year running) and off to nationals being held in September.

Xanthe has won a place at the national competition every year since 2021. This year will be her fourth time competing nationally. When asked why she had decided to enter again this year Xanthe replied, “[Because of] the need for rangitahi Māori to speak in te reo Māori sections, [and also] to be able to speak te reo Māori in front of an audience and give my opinion”.

This year Xanthe spoke on ‘Reo kōpiri whakapuaki, Reo korahi whangāihia’ for her prepared speech, which can be understood as ‘the beginner language needs to be spoken, and the more experienced need to feed into it’. 

For her impromptu speech the topic was ‘Ko au te Kaitiaki’ or ‘I’m the guardian.’ When asked how she interpreted that,  Xanthe replied, “I’m the guardian of my language. I was talking about how fortunate I was to grow up in te reo Māori, with te reo Māori as my first language, and how lucky I was that my parents brought me up like that, when they didn’t [grow up like that].”

The national Ngā Manu Kōrero competition is coming up in September and Xanthe will be preparing by practising as much as she can. She said a lot of her prepared speech will need to be changed as it made references to Whakatū, which would not translate over in Tāmaki Makaurau, so she will be busy tweaking, relearning, and practicing in the months ahead. No cue cards are allowed during the speech presentations, so every line has to be memorised precisely!

When asked about what was next for her, Xanthe said she was still deciding which university she wanted to attend, but definitely wanted to study Indigenous Studies and maybe Law. Her experiences over the years at Ngā Manu Kōrero, have helped her hone her skills of thinking on the spot, being able to compose herself, and overall building confidence.

By Ҵý