Te Tairāwhiti opens national Manu Kōrero competition

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

The 53rd annual Ngā Manu Kōrero competition has officially opened today in Gisborne.

Manaia Aupouri is representing the East Coast in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones senior Māori section.

He says, “I enjoy these types of initiatives that encourage and inspire me to grow and develop further.”

Paora Whaanga Gilbert is the Tairawhiti representative for the Te Rāwhiti Ihaka junior Māori section.  He says it's a great way to extend language use beyond compulsory domains.

“It's rare that you'll hear youth speaking Māori beyond the boundaries of the school,” says Whaanga Gilbert.

Both speakers say it's an opportunity to develop capacity in the art of oral literature.

“So that I can stand on my own marae as an orator and represent my family and my tribe,” says Aupouri.

“To represent my family, my tribes and sub-tribes, my school and the wider East Coast region,” says Whaanga-Gilbert.

The two Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Uri a Māui students hope that visiting schools will take away something special regardless of the result.

 “For them to see the beauty of the East Coast, and the descendants of Māui, the people of this land, for them to enjoy their time here among us,” says Whaanga Gilbert.

The competition is being live-streamed with speeches beginning tomorrow morning.