Twins continue family legacy at Ngā Manu Kōrero

By Regan Paranihi

Ariana and Ngaruahine Poihipi-Black, from Whakatāne High, are two of a kind and are both competing at this year's Mataatua regional Ngā Manu Kōrero competition.

The dynamic twin-combo come from a line of generations who are well known in the Manu Kōrero arena, and today they were able to add to that legacy.

Ngā Manu Kōrero is a platform for many young orators to express themselves through speech.

"To express our knowledge of Māoridom so that Tauiwi can see the language is the origin of New Zealand," says Ngaruahine.

"This is the reason Manu Kōrero is here today," adds Ariana.

These twin sisters are competing in both the Pei Te Hurinui Jones and the Korimako sections, a decision that was made by their mother to avoid any conflict.

"My mother said we were not allowed to compete against each other because we are twins so that we don't fight or argue," says Ariana.

She also says this is a way for her to showcase and enhance who she is and what the Māori culture is all about.

"To enhance Māoridom, to enhance Māori language, to also empower our language, and the protocols to stand as well. But importantly to stand with humility for my family."

This is their first time on the Manu Kōrero stage and they are hoping that it won't be the last.

Ariana says, "There's another day tomorrow and there will be another Manu Kōrero competition to come. But if I am fortunate enough to be on that bench that will be cool."

Aukaha Kaukau-Dickson of  Te Wharekura o Mauao says this is also a platform to practice for the paepae.

"I am the eldest in my generation so no doubt there will come a time I will get to the stage of speaking on the paepae. However, until then here is the platform to prepare yourself and practice."

The winners of today's competition will advance to the National Ngā Manu Kōrero competition in Palmerston North in September.