Familiar setting helps winner
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