The effects of voting and not voting were laid out on the Manu Kōrero stage

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

Secondary schools from all over NZ have turned up to this year's Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition in New Plymouth.

Judge Wena Tait says, many of this year's contestants have tied in how voting or not voting will affect them.

Despite the heavy rain, masses of people have turned up to be a part of the important occasion.

Petera Hakiwai who is a spectator says, “It's uplifting to watch and to listen to the thoughts of the youth. I really like the impromptu speeches because you get to see where the skill is at in that category.”

Secondary schools from all over the country have turned up with an aim to encourage the development of skills and confidence of Māori students in spoken English and Māori.

“Most of the speakers are tying in issues of voting because it's a current topic of discussion. It's a good topic because they speak about the future and how it will affect our generation and the generation of tomorrow,” says Arihia Hall from Nga Puna o Waiorea.

Judge Wena Tait says, although this year's speaking topics aren't directly about voting, the youth have incorporated their thoughts on voting into their speeches.

“The speakers are throwing ideas out to the crowd and you can see that they are really understanding the effects of voting and not voting. One of the other topics being spoken about is that if you don't vote then you have no right to complain. That's one of the topics that's blowing us adults away.”

The Junior Māori and Junior English sections will continue on to tomorrow.