On 26 June, 2014, Macy Duxfield and I travelled with Cullinane College’s senior and junior students to the Ngā Manu Kōrero regional speaking competition at Spotswood College, New Plymouth.
There were 14 schools from the Whanganui/Taranaki region competing or supporting their kaupapa. Our Kapa Haka squad, Te Ngakau O Te Awa, travelled with us.
Macy took part in the Sir Turi Carroll Junior English section and placed second out of 10 speakers. I took part in the Korimako Senior English section and placed first, also out of 10 speakers.
‘It was really fun and the audience was fixated on me, which brought out more compassion for my topic while I spoke,’ said Macy. She delivered a beautiful, well-structured speech on the topic, ‘YOLO – You Only Live Once’.
I was very nervous leading up to the time I had to deliver my speech: ‘Education is the most powerful tool – use it!’But as soon as I got up on stage my speech just began flowing out of my mouth. It was a great atmosphere, even speakers who were nervous still gave off good wairua to those around them.
At prize giving my heart was beating out of my chest. I was shaking as my name was announced. I started crying, it felt so good to win, but better yet, to have my kapa haka whanau with me.
Without them and my support back at school, I wouldn’t have won that trophy. As a result I will be travelling to Hawke’s Bay in late September to compete in the Ngā Manu Kōrero Nationals. It was a truly great experience – a taonga I can have for the rest of my life.
As a part of this fantastic week, Te Ngakau o Te Awa returned to Spotswood College on June 27 to perform at Paerangatahi, the regional Kapa Haka competition.
Although this wasn’t a competitive year, each group gave it their all to showcase their talents. Only eight or nine schools performed and Te Ngakau O Te Awa were the only Nationals qualifiers who went to Paerangatahi.
As tutor Kamaka Manuel said, ‘…it was to prepare ourselves for Nationals in late July/early August’.
We set the standard and showed what we’re made of, led by ngā kaitataki Anamaraea Lake-Hemi and Te Hiiri Ponga.
We received great feedback from the audience. The group felt good afterwards and were pumped for National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka in Gisborne.
The atmosphere was great with everyone eager to see what Te Ngakau O Te Awa would have in store for the Nationals.
Mona Wareka is a Year 12 student at Cullinane College, Whanganui.