Taniwha tale takes top spot in contest

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A short story about a huge and greedy taniwha has earned Mataura Primary School pupil Cameron Coats first place in the Southland Literacy Association short story competition.

The 10-year-old won the years 4 to 6 award.

Mataura Primary School principal Susan Dennison said there were more than 100 entries across three year-group categories.

Entries came from 19 schools.

Cameron had a broad vocabulary, which he used to good effect in his entry story, How The Mataura Falls Were Made

Cameron produced the best piece of mythological writing.

“I know Cameron is very, very proud of it,” Mrs Dennison said.

His teacher, Robina Wilson, was particularly proud Cameron had written and edited the composition to such a high standard.

Cameron’s class had been investigating myths and legends as part of a school programme and then he wrote the short story.

“We had to choose a local myth,” Cameron said.

In an email competition judge Phillipa Tenaki-Hakopa said Cameron’s winning composition contained a lovely opening paragraph.

“I love the use of your descriptive words,” Ms Tenaki-Hakopa said.

She had been impressed by the quality of the entries in the competition and the knowledge that went into them, she said in the email.