Ngā Pū Kōrero fostering a new generation of orators

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Student speakers from around the country are taking part in Ngā Pū Kōrero Mō Āpōpō national speech competition, held the by the Māori Women's Welfare League (MWWL).

11-year-old Jacqueline Te Kani-Nankivell from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Uri a Māui says, “My ancestors' basket is a basket of knowledge, so I'm speaking about my Nanny Jackie Te Kani who was a past-president of the MWWL.”

Yvonne Mita of MWWL says it's a platform for youth to have a voice in a safe and supportive environment.

“To bring the youth together and hear their perspective on the world and worldly issues” is the aim according to Mita.

39 students from over the country have gathered Rongopai marae to express their own thoughts and ideas about the survival of Māori language and culture.

10-year-old speaker Paerau Dillon from Te Kura o Ngāruahinerangi says, “On my father’s side I learn about pig hunting and how to catch my own food, from my mother I learn about the language and customs.”

MWWL members are pleased to see the young women standing tall and shining through in the speeches.

Yvonne Mita says, “One of our goals is for all young Māori women to stand strong knowing where they are from.”

Rongomaiwahine Te Rau o Patuwai from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o Te Wairoa says, “My topic is that girls are treasures and so are women.  I chose this topic because of my love for my mothers, my grandmothers and the female gods.”

The MWWL National Conference starts tomorrow.