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E Tū Whānau Spoken Word Competition 2021 Winners Announced

“It’s the voice of Aotearoa, and that's a powerful thing”

Organisers of the E Tū Whānau Spoken Word Competition 2021 are thrilled at the passion, quality and range of entries in this inaugural event.

The competition host, acclaimed spoken word poet Te Kahu Rolleston, was hugely impressed by the talent and topics the entrants shared through this event.

“Nowhere else have I seen such an amazing collection of spoken word poetry,” said Te Kahu. “It’s the voice of Aotearoa, and that's a powerful thing.”

The three competition judges agree. “Beautifully crafted”, “powerful”, “strong word-play” and “gems hidden between every line” are some of the comments they made about the winning entries. Grace Iwashita-Taylor, Jai Selkirk and Moerangi Tetapuhi are all well-established in the spoken word and slam poetry community and brought to the judging process many years of experience, knowledge and commitment to this growing artform.

The theme for the competition was “Ngā Moemoeā: Hopes and dreams for my world, my future, my whānau” and entrants were asked to also make a connection in some way to the E Tū Whānau kaupapa.

E Tū Whānau Kaiwhakahaere, Heni Turner, says that the competition carries on the legacy of Ann Dysart (Te Rarawa), the founding kaiwhakahaere of E Tū Whānau, who passed away at the start of this year.

“Ann Dysart was passionate about everyone’s voices being heard – especially those that are often silenced. Her vision was that the E Tū Whānau spoken word competition promotes people’s hopes and kōrero, and that it makes Aotearoa New Zealand more diverse, inclusive and strong. She also wanted people to have fun when sharing the kaupapa.

“We celebrate that her vision has been fulfilled by the success of our first spoken word competition.”

The winners of the E Tū Whānau Spoken Word Competition 2021 are:

Rangatahi Category (18 years and under)

1st place: DREAMS OF DIVERSITY entered by Kyllah Iosua, Ngāti Kahu (Auckland)

2nd place: NGĀ PUNA WHAKATAA O ŌKU TŪPUNA entered by Ali’itasi Vae’au, Manawa Paki, Akacia-Jane Rewita; Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakarewa i te Reo ki Tūwharetoa (Taupō).

3rd place: FALL OF 3 KINGS entered by Kate Laughter, Ngāti Porou (Auckland)

Highly commended: KANOHI KI TE AO entered by Oceania Pene, Te Arawa (Rotorua)

Open Category (19 years and over)

1st place: IN THE EYES OF MY NIECE entered by Kasi Valu (Wellington)

2nd place: I PRAY entered by Harirewa Rachel Tairaki (Kaikohe)

3rd place: MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH entered by Ryan Teura, Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Rongo-U, Ngāti Porou (Auckland)

Highly Commended: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN entered by Cody Stipich, Ngāti Awa (Wellington)

People’s Choice Award

DEAR JACINDA entered by Kasi Valu (Wellington)

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