How proud I was to attend the Porirua city Secondary Schools Speech Contest 2016. Rotary President Adrienne Murray introduced the evening. You can see photos from the event here.
Congratulations to organisers David Knight and Bill McAulay for arranging a very well organised event.
Eight fine teens represented their colleges in a very formal yet supportive environment. This is the second Secondary Schools Speech Contest that Plimmerton Rotary has staged and I believe it is a very sustainable activity that boosts the youth of Porirua.
Tyler Mata began the journey with "Attitude, not Aptitude determines Altitude" . She took us on a pathway of lifting our self belief by improving how we think about our hopes and dreams.
Simoni Schaumkel spoke very passionately about "The Media" and its negative and positive impacts. Now I know where to look for the latest fashions and phrases as well as debates. She spoke about the impact of videos and on-line news impacting on newspapers for teens.
Anita Waiariki led us down a path of "Don't be afraid to do something different". It was a personal story of the impact on her 16-year-old sister becoming a young mother. This was a very powerful, current tale that this devoted Auntie told in a very confident, moving manner.
Mamari Tauiora's topic was "Don't be afraid to be different". What a powerful rendition she gave of highlighting her hero, her father, and his journey in losing weight. She emphasised the need to be motivated to change and to take control back. I am sure he will see his daughter off to her first ball, and walk her down the aisle. A very personal rendition of the impact making a change can have.
Our only male contender was Liam Hunt. Liam gave solid detail about "Fossil Fuels" and the impact of greenhouse gasses and changes likely to occur in our lifetime. Liam has a straight talking delivery about a very impactful topic. He emphasised what fuels we are using, the effects of continuing to use them and some of the impacts these have on the planet. A very topical speech.
Shania Randall spoke about "Reputation versus Reality". Shania is proud to be a "Creekie" and highlighted the effect that a poor 1980s reputation of Canons Creek had on the reality of the positivity that exists in this millennium. Evidence of this can be seen with Creekfest, a range of cultures, bright colourful paintings and art work, and the advantages of hearing many languages, music and dances while walking through the Creek. It is so great to see the pride of our teens with a strong sense of belonging.
Maisey Bentley added another level of debate with "Contemporary Segregation". Here we were led on a pathway through the lens of a blond haired, blue eyed New Zealander. Her eloquence and prose accentuated her passion to belong in New Zealand.
Finally, Hitira'a Mahana Tahau-Hodges highlighted "Time Waits for No One". Hitira'a was the overall winner.
Standing in for Mayor Nick Leggett, Councillor Euon Morell was elequemtly able to thank Harcourts for their sponsorship of the event as well as everyone else involved. He carried on the tone of collegiality between our colleges.
I was really impressed with the seven judges spread throughout the room. No wonder they took their time deliberating the winners. All eight speakers were given a framed certificate of participation. The first, second and third place-getters were awarded very impressive trophies and the winning college Te Kura Maori o Porirua, who took the first and second titles, went away with the cup for the second year. Last year their students were placed first and third.
I am looking forward to adding this event to my calendar for next year.