Next gen­er­a­tion of sto­ry­tellers

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

A first time en­trant to a pres­ti­gious Ma¯ori speech com­pe­ti­tion has walked away with a top ac­co­lade.

Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege stu­dent Te Ao Marama Nepia en­tered the re­gional round of a sec­ondary school Ma¯ori speech com­pe­ti­tion.

Along­side fel­low stu­dent Jemma Hart, the tal­ented or­a­tor im­pressed judges at the Nga¯ Manu Ko¯rero speech com­pe­ti­tion in Rich­mond and both took home tro­phies.

Nepia will now go on to rep­re­sent the top of the south at the Na­tional Nga¯ Manu Korero com­pe­ti­tion to be held in Houhoupiko, Gis­borne later this year.

It is the first time a Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege stu­dent has won the Willie Luke Me­mo­rial Tro­phy in the ju­nior sec­tion at the com­pe­ti­tion which took place at the end of last month.

Year 9 stu­dent Nepia (Nga¯ti Apa ki te Ra¯To¯, Ran­gita¯ne, Nga¯ti Kuia, Tu¯whare­toa) spoke on the topic, ‘‘ Ma¯ku ano to¯ku ao e wai­hanga (I will build my own world)’’ us­ing ex­am­ples of her tı¯puna, and how they had forged their own paths.

Hart (Nga¯ti Porou, Te Wha¯nau-A-Apanui), who is in her fi­nal year, won the Hine Takoto Wai Tro­phy in the Kori­mako – Im­promptu Se­nior sec­tion at the event.

She also brought home the Te Riu Louisa Stafford Tro­phy for en­ter­ing both the Kori­mako and Pei Te Hu­runui sec­tions.

Marl­bor­ough Boys’ Col­lege stu­dent Lu­cas Baker (Nga¯ti Apa ki te Ra¯ To¯, Nga¯ti Kuia, Ran­gi­tane) also im­pressed, plac­ing third in the Se­nior Eng- lish sec­tion. Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege te reo ka­iako Louisa King said the stu­dents had put in the hard work and im­pressed on stage in front of a crowd of about 200 peo­ple. ‘‘Stu­dents of Marl­bor­ough Boys’ and Girls’ col­leges rep­re­sented Marl­bor­ough with pride and poise. Our ko¯hine car­ried the mana of their school very well and should be proud of their ef­forts,’’ she says.

The taonga brought back from the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion were wel­comed onto Omaka Marae in Blen­heim last week with a po¯whiri at­tended by col­lege stu­dents, ka­iako and young ran­gatahi, help­ing to inspire the next gen­er­a­tion of te reo speak­ers.

Nga¯ti Apa ki te Ra¯ To¯ cul­tural ad­vi­sor Ki­ley Nepia says the wins at the Manu Ko¯rero re­gional level were a great achieve­ment

‘‘This is how their legacy con­tin­ues,

‘‘These young peo­ple are the next gen­er­a­tion of sto­ry­tellers,’’ he says.

PHOTO: NGATI APA KI TE RA TO TRUST

Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege stu­dents Te Ao Marama Nepia, left, and Jemma Hart with taonga brought back from the re­gional Nga Manu Korero Maori speech com­pe­ti­tion. Marl­bor­ough Girls' Col­lege te reo ka­iako Louisa King

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