Win­ner has his sight on pol­i­tics

South Waikato News - - Motoring - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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