Manu Kōrero speech talks about stereotyping Māori students

By Taroi Black

A Manurewa High School student is making a stand against the stereotypical way teachers treat Māori students in mainstream schools. Her name is Adelle Rose Kapa and she took part in the Central South Auckland Manu Kōrero competition.

Kapa says, “I chose "to teach me you must know me" because I have had my own experiences where I have struggled with the subject and also struggle with the relationship with my teacher. So it's really frustrating and you don't know where to go from there.”

Drawing on her own past experiences at school has also pushed Adelle Rose Kapa to become a voice for the many in her generation dealing with the stigma of being Māori in a mainstream school.

“I've been set lower than everybody else because being Māori and they know that. They see me as a Māori statistical female and so there's already an assumption that.”

2015 shows that truancy was a growing problem for Māori students attending Manurewa High School. Māori attendance was 10% lower than non-Māori.

Ngā Tapuwae teacher Harley Maika says, “Teachers should be familiar with the needs of the children.”

That's exactly what this Lynfield High School student did in her debut in the Manu Kōrero arena, having to overcome her fears of speaking in public and in front of oratory exponents.

“My family passed on a couple of days ago and i lost my neighbour yesterday and so i was dedicating my speech today to them,” says student Melina Samuels.

Melina’s mother Hine Laveaina says she is overwhelmed with her daughter's performance, “I’m super proud of her, she's growing into a beautiful putiputi. So me and my husband and brothers are very proud of her.”

But for this young woman, it's finding the right path in life.