Ngapera tops te reo test

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

When Ngapera Aper­a­hama’s teach­ers saw an O in the mark­ing sec­tion of her exam, they didn’t know what it meant.

It turned out the O stood for out­stand­ing and Ngapera was the only te reo stu­dent to get the grade in the NZQA 2013 New Zealand Schol­ar­ship awards.

Even more im­pres­sively, she was up against stu­dents two years older.

‘‘It was amaz­ing ac­tu­ally. I’m still buzzing.

‘‘I was hum­bled to have reached such an achieve­ment,’’ Ngapera said.

The Wai­tan­girua 16- year- old boards at St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ Col­lege in Napier.

She grew up in full im­mer­sion Maori and said it had paid off.

‘‘We were quite lucky hear­ing it ev­ery day. It helped a lot.’’

Ngapera, who was in year 11, was against stu­dents two years her se­nior in the schol­ar­ship exam last year.

She said a teacher en­cour­aged her to par­tic­i­pate in the exam, usu­ally only taken by year 12 and 13 stu­dents.

Ngapera said she would use the schol­ar­ship to at­tend univer­sity and fol­low her in­ter­ests in Maori phi­los­o­phy or law.

She said she would like to help re­vi­talise te reo in New Zealand.

‘‘It’s a big chal­lenge ahead, but I guess I’m up to it.

‘‘I just want to re­vi­talise it and keep it in the gen­er­a­tions that are com­ing through be­cause it’s re­ally im­por­tant to me.’

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Sil­ver tongue: Ngapera Aper­a­hama was the only stu­dent in New Zealand to re­ceive an Out­stand­ing schol­ar­ship in te reo.

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