June 29, 2021
Manu Korero strengthens tradition
A former Manu Kōrero winner says the annual speech competition is a great foundation for young Māori to strengthen their grip on their culture.
The northern region finals are being held this week in Panguru.
Shane Jones, who won on home territory in Kaitaia in 1977, says while mainstream schools may have debating competitions, whaikōrero is beyond a debate.
"So the fact our kura in the north are continuing to celebrate that tradition, encourage young people to achieve a higher level of proficiency in te reo, a higher level of confidence to stand and speak, and the real test is the ability to stand and speak without notes, and I had to practice with my grandmother and my uncle Niki Conrad in Te Aupouri by giving whaikōrero in the dark," he says.
Shane Jones says maintaining bilingualism can be a burden for young parents, especially in rural areas without a kura kaupapa near by, so anything that helps support the kaupapa is to be applauded.
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