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Ka pai! Shore student aces oratory contest

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Winning smile… Westlake Girls High School’s Isabella Drummond, seen at Polyfest, will represent Auckland in a national speech contest after winning the regional competition.

Isabella Drummond has been chosen as the overall top Maori orator from an Auckland secondary school in the Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition – speaking in English.

The Westlake Girls High School Year 11 student will now go on to represent the region in national competitions in September.

Isabella says she is “beyond proud and humbled” at her success.

Students had a choice of speaking in te reo or English in the competition held last month. Historically, the overall winner often comes from the former category.

Isabella gave two speeches, impressing the judges with powerful performances on her prepared topic of “Let me be the rangatahi today; I’ll be the rangatira tomorrow” and her impromptu speech: “Learning te reo Māori via Google”.

Entered in the senior English section for the Korimako Trophy, Isabella was selected as the competition’s top female speaker, the best impromptu speaker and winner of the top overall speaker.

“The Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition was an incredible experience, and I have grown so much as a person because of it,” says Isabella.

“It was so cool to see speakers from across Auckland express themselves in a positive and competitive environment.”

This is only the second time that a student from either Westlake Girls or Boys High Schools has made the nationals, so a good contingent of supporters from both school communities are expected to support her at the national competition in Palmerston North.

Top Maori orator… Isabella Drummond with her trophies

“Ngā Manu Kōrero has given me the opportunity to express myself as a rangatahi (young person),” says Isabella. “Public speaking can be daunting, but it has built my confidence.” She hopes other students will give it a go.

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