Tok teen makes it two in a row

South Waikato News - - Out & About - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa High School stu­dent Jay Mclaren-harris has done it again.

For the sec­ond year in a row the year 13 stu­dent has been named over­all win­ner of the Se­nior English cat­e­gory dur­ing the cov­eted 2017 Nga Manu Korero Waikato Re­gion Sec­ondary School Speech con­test.

The con­test, which this year was held in Toko­roa, has been run­ning for over 50 years. It’s 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.

Jay placed first in the Se­nior English im­promptu speech cat­e­gory and sec­ond in the pre­pared. Due to his al­most per­fect marks in both he won the Se­nior English cat­e­gory over­all.

‘‘I’ve been do­ing it for four years now and be­sides the first year this was def­i­nitely the most in­tense and nerve rack­ing time on the stage as it’s my last year do­ing it,’’ he said.

‘‘It was good though to have some of the school come down. We even had the act­ing prin­ci­pal at the time, a few teach­ers and the head boy so that was a nice sur­prise.’’ This year’s pre­pared speech topic was Without Fore­sight or Vi­sion Peo­ple Would be Lost so Jay, who has a keen po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est, nat­u­rally took a po­lit­i­cal stance.

And for his im­promptu speech, pol­i­tics again was the fo­cus.

‘‘For the im­promptu the topic was ‘If I could be some­one for the day I would be...’ and so I talked about Win­ston Peters, Dr Lance O’sul­li­van, and Sir James Henare,’’ he said.

‘‘Most peo­ple only talked about one per­son whereas I talked about three and one of the head judges of the English sec­tion said he was im­pressed with the amount of Maori peo­ple used.’’

Toko­roa High School has now won the award 12 years con­sec­u­tively and dean of Te Rito Keinan Ngapo said he couldn’t be prouder.

‘‘There were some 24 schools in each sec­tion so there was a lot of com­pe­ti­tion but Jay was amaz­ing and he even made me cry,’’ he said.

Jay is now set for a few weeks off be­fore he starts pre­par­ing for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion which takes place in New Ply­mouth from Septem­ber 22-24. Bur­glar­ies We had five bur­glar­ies in the in­dus­trial area in Toko­roa where ve­hi­cles and cash have been tar­geted.

We are aware we have got this prob­lem in the in­dus­trial area at the mo­ment and have in­creased our pa­trolling.

We’re look­ing at ev­ery pos­si­ble av­enue we can to catch these fel­las but re­al­is­ti­cally the most valu­able in­for­ma­tion, which we are not get­ting enough of, is help from the com­mu­nity by peo­ple call­ing when they see sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.

We got one call where we ar­rested a man who was not car­ry­ing out a bur­glary but who was breach­ing his court con­di­tions. He’s now be­ing held in cus­tody and we need more of these sorts of calls.

Some of these in­ci­dents are hap­pen­ing as early as 5pm so stay vig­i­lant.

The other mes­sage here is to not leave any valu­able items in ve­hi­cles be­cause these peo­ple will break in.

Busi­ness own­ers also need to re­mem­ber not to leave any cash in tills.

*Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Henderson

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

More suc­cess for Jay Mclaren-harris dur­ing the 2017 Nga Manu Korero speech con­test.

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