Winner has his sight on politics
Tokoroa High School student Jay Mclaren-harris is on the right track to seeing his parliamentary dream realised.
The year 12 student, who is passionate about politics and who hopes to one day enter parliament, was the overall winner of the coveted 2016 Nga Manu Korero Waikato Region Secondary School Speech contest.
The contest has been running for over 50 years and is intended to encourage the development of skills and confidence of students in spoken English and Maori through prepared and impromptu speeches.
There are four categories on offer including Senior Maori, Senior English, Junior Maori, and Junior English.
While some categories only required one speech, Jay took part in the Senior English category which required both a prepared and impromptu speech.
Jay won both to go on to win overall and said he was happy with how well he did.
‘‘The topic was Our People Are Our Wealth so I talked a lot about our people as Maori in terms of political stance, the flag, and the Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA) and how its effected Maori,’’ he said.
‘‘I finished it off sincerely by saying ‘you know what, we face these challenges, what can we do to fix them? You are the people that have the power’ so it was good.’’
Tokoroa High School dean Te Rito Keinan Ngapo said the students had to prepare a six minute speech which had to be learnt by heart and they were only given five minutes to prepare their impromptu with two to three minutes to speak.
‘‘He is a political boy at heart and although we trained with him quite a bit he has extensive knowledge already,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of the time when I work with a student I have to train them till midnight every night for a month but with him we only had to train till around 6pm.’’
‘‘His marks were spectacular and ranged from 99.5 to 100. I have been doing this for 11 years and I have never had anyone gain such high marks. He is going to be a world leader.’’
Jay said his favourite form of speaking was impromptu.
Jay will have a month’s break before starting to train again for the national competition which takes place in Whangarei from Tuesday, September 20 to Thursday, September 22.
Tokoroa High School student Jay Mclaren-harris with his Nga Manu Korero trophies.