Maori speech contest 2nd place

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Oliver Gordon-Glassford St Peter’s pupil Oliver Gordon-Glassford (17) knew what to expect when he returned to the Otago-Southland Maori speaking competition (Nga Manu Korero), held in Dunedin last Saturday.

Now in year 13, Oliver first took part in the competition two years ago.

This year he competed in the senior English section.

His first time in the competition was “more for the experience, I guess. I wasn’t up there going out to win anything.”

“But this year I went back to revisit it in year 13 to really give it a go,” Oliver said.

Oliver gained second place, his selected topic being: “Education opens many doors”.

“This time I was coming back with it in my mind that I wanted to get up there as high as I could,” he said.

He missed out on first place to Logan Park High School’s Ahi Kaitai-Mullane, whose topic was: “My sovereignty, my wellbeing”.

Oliver competed against 11 other pupils in his section. There were more than 30 speakers overall.

He chose his topic from a list of 10 set topics.

“When I went to the competition, I had a think about the audience I would be speaking to; and because it was a Maori speaking competition, my audience was predominantly Maori,” he said.

“So I went wanting to inspire my generation of Maori in saying that education is a doorway out of more poverty situations and that kind of stuff.”

His speech was four minutes and 40 seconds, the limit being six minutes.

“I was certainly satisfied, considering the last time I went I did not get very high up – so was pleased with the second.

“I wouldn’t say I was confident. I was hoping to show a level of confidence, obviously, but I was hoping for the best.”

He hoped to continue working on his speaking and presentation skills at events such as the Lions and Rotary speech competitions later this year.