Fa­mil­iar set­ting helps win­ner

Hamilton Press - - CONVERSATIONS - STEVE ED­WARDS

A home ground ad­van­tage paid off for a Hill­crest High School stu­dent, win­ning her way to a na­tional speech fi­nal next month.

Nisha Novell took out this year’s United Na­tions As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand Waikato branch an­nual speech com­pe­ti­tion, held re­cently in the school li­brary.

‘‘It was a fa­mil­iar set­ting,’’ said the 16 year old year 12 stu­dent.

The theme was Hu­man Se­cu­rity in Di­verse Com­mu­ni­ties, with Nisha only learn­ing about the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion 10 days out.

She knew noth­ing about the topic and found it ‘‘im­me­di­ately off­putting’’, but put to­gether her award­win­ning en­try in just a cou­ple of hours the night be­fore the event.

Af­ter ‘‘craft­ing it’’ fur­ther on the day of the com­pe­ti­tion, Nisha said she was ‘‘pretty happy’’ with the end re­sult.

Re­search on the topic led her to in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing a re­port by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter and cur­rent UN rep­re­sen­ta­tive He­len Clark and a study by global pol­icy or­gan­i­sa­tion RAND (re­search and de­vel­op­ment).

‘‘Hu­man se­cu­rity (safety) is not an idea, it’s a goal,’’ said Nisha.

UNANZ Waikato branch pres­i­dent Mano Manoha­ran said her speech was ex­cel­lent, par­tic­u­larly given the short prepa­ra­tion time.

Run­ner-up was Ti­mothy Ng from Hamil­ton Boys High School.

Nisha Novell will take part in the UNANZ na­tional speech com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land on May 28.

Nisha Novell PHOTO: STEVE ED­WARDS/FAIRFAX NZ

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