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Nga Manu Korero "Exceptional Standard of Debate"

Turia Praises the “Exceptional Standard of Debate” demonstrated at Nga Manu Korero national speech competition

Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

Thursday 14 September 2006

Co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, today spoke of the inspiration she gained in her role as adjudicator in Nga Whakataetae mo Nga Manu Korero, the National Speech contest taking place in Taranaki this week.

“It has been fantastic to observe our young Maori speakers, both in te reo and English, engaging in such a high level of debate” said Mrs Turia. “The students have raised the standard of political debate with speeches which were profoundly challenging”.

“The speakers in this year’s competitions were outstanding - delivering speeches which were fluent, persuasive and well researched” said Mrs Turia.

"I couldn't help but contrast it to the level of debate the nation has witnessed in recent weeks in Parliament".

“The students made us think - what is the nature of the tapu involved with organ donation?”

“They spoke, passionately, about the way in which ‘cultural genocide’ occurs on a daily basis - how the culture has been demeaned; and how cultural practices have changed and been adapted to ‘fit’ Western society”.

“They shared beautiful stories, delivered highly political analysis, and to a person, they spoke with such dignity and presence, that it was indeed a privilege to be in their company”.

“I was only sad that the media were not there in mass to report such a ‘good news’ story” said Mrs Turia. “Here is the greatest opportunity for the public to see our children in such a positive situation - they are an inspiration for us all”.

“Alongside Ruia Aperahama as MC, the hui was facilitated by these two young students who were ‘just the bomb’” said Mrs Turia. “Indeed, the responsibilities that the rangatahi took, each convenor supported by young people, was really exciting - and gave me great hope”.

Mrs Turia also acknowledged the magnificent efforts of the Taranaki National Organising Committee - Te Ohu Manaaki o Taranaki - in their successful management of the national competition.

“Having these competitions in the smaller centres is absolutely ideal” said Mrs Turia. “Who would think that a national competition could take place in Ruatoria or Opunake? Indeed - the management of this event was so impressive that I’m now going to go back to my colleague, Hone (Harawira) and support his call for the World Cup to be hosted in Kaitaia!”

“The venue was outstanding, the atmosphere was so warm and friendly; and the way in which we were all looked after was superb. The Maori wardens, the volunteers, the commitment of the community was second to none. It has been a wonderful week”.


Nga Manu Korero Speech Contest is scheduled to close at 5pm, today, Thursday 14 September. The event is taking place at Sandford's Event Centre, Opunake.

Mrs Turia was one of the judges for the Korimako (Senior English) category - which consists of a prepared speech for up to six minutes; and an impromptu speech of up to three minutes. Topics for the prepared speech included:

- Women on the paepae, men looking after children - is this the ultimate sign of colonisation?

- To donate our organs or not. That is the question.

- The new All Blacks Haka - what’s all the fuss?

- Is it time to request tax rebates for our charitable works on marae?

- “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” and

- The Treaty of Waitangi deleted from the new school curriculum - is this cultural genocide?


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