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Be proud of te reo Maori

Saturday 2 April 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Be proud of te reo Maori
The Year 7 Titikaveka College Maori Speech Competition contestants. From left Malea Vogel and twins Alex and Ngari Rae. MELINA ETCHES/22040107

Ngatamaine Teaka began speaking Cook Islands Maori from a very young age, she is comfortable conversing in the language and encourages other kids to “learn your Maori language and be proud of it”.

The Year 7 Titikaveka College student topped her class in the school’s Maori Speech Competition that was held yesterday morning.

Of Aitutakian descent, Teaka said she presented her speech using the Aitutakian dialect to “make my dad (Ben Teaka) proud, because that’s his island”.

Despite low turnout of students due to Covid-19, deputy principal Nga Charlie said she was happy the speech event went ahead.

“I was impressed with the effort from the kids, and it’s good to give the kids the experience of speaking to an audience.”

Taking top place in Year 10, Hanamarie Henry says although she is not confident conversing in Maori, she kept practicing her speech with the help of her parents and grandmother.

The Year 7 Titikaveka College Maori Speech Competition contestants. From left Davida Petero, Ngatamaine Teaka, Ngateina Taokia, Margaret Moetaua. MELINA ETCHES/22040106

“We do need to speak more Maori so we get better at it and to keep our culture going.”

Year 8 student Malea Vogel learnt how to speak Maori four years ago when her family returned from Germany where she was born.

Attending Takitumu Primary school at the time, Vogel said: “My teacher Mataiao Vaine really helped me a lot with Maori and my dad (Renall Vogel) also teaches us a lot.”

Speaking from experience, Vogel said “first learn the vowels and the alphabet, and its really easy to spell Maori words because there’s no ‘th’ or ‘sh’… and the letters are easy to pronounce.”

Nga Charlie would also like to thank and acknowledge the sponsors “who have helped motivate the kids to participate”.

The Titikaveka College 2022 Maori speech competition results are as follows: Year 7 - 1st Ngatamaine Teaka, 2nd Davida Petero, Ngateina Taokia, Margaret Moetaua; Year 8 - 1st  Malea Vogel, 2nd Alex Rae, 3rd Ngari Rae; Year 9 - 1st Tunui Mati, 2nd Raelyn Brothers, 3rd Alesi Nagi, 4th William Roberston; Year 10 - 1st Hanamarie Henry, 2nd Mariul Maoate, 3rd Romano Moetaua, 4th Jessica Tangirere; Year 11 -1st Sidney Brown, 2nd  Lillian Aratangi, 3rd Lovenio Oti, 4th Teremoana Rae, 5th Benjamin Tuakeu.