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The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is proud to co-sponsor the Nga Manu Korero Otago/Southland Regional Secondary School Speech Competition which will be held at the Civic Theatre June 6th. The event will be kicked off with a Powhiri at 8.45am.  Nathan Tane of James Hargest College stated there is a significant rise in participants, with 42 students this year compared to the 25 students which competed last year.

SIT has a rich history of working closely with the Maori community which is evident through its strong relationship with Te Wanaga o Aotearoa and is thrilled to be able to help young speechmakers within the southern region find their voice.

Speeches will be conducted in both Maori and English. Each school is able to submit 4 speakers with senior students being able to do both prepared and impromptu speeches. The regional speech competition gives students the chance to qualify for the National competition in Hawkes Bay in September. 

Ngā Manu Kōrero was established in 1965 by the then Governor General, Sir Bernard Fergusson - Lord Ballantrae. The original objective of Ngā Manu Kōrero in its inception was to encourage and promote the eloquent use of the English language by Māori secondary school students. The contest has evolved over time to include Māori language sections for all ethnicities. Furthermore, in recent times the focus has expanded from a focus on linguistic excellence to include political and social awareness amongst youth. Ngā Manu Kōrero provides a forum where students, both Māori and non-Māori, can stand and voice their opinions on current issues that they face.

It has been a vehicle for Rangatahi (youth) to develop and further enhance their language skills as an art form, thus arming them with tools to pursue further artistic vocations. Participants from previous years are well known in their respective fields of expertise, many of whom are national contributors and icons within our New Zealand media industry e.g. Matai Smith, Julian Wilcox, Kingi Kiriona, Hinurewa Poutu Tūpoutahi Winiata and Tamati Waaka.

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