Manu Kōrero Waikato regionals

By Rahia Timutimu

This weekend, Waikato held their regional Ngā Manu Kōrero competition at the University of Waikato.

The region has successfully won the Pei Te Hurinui Senior Māori section since 2010.

Last year's winner, Kaharau Keogh, returned to the regionals to defend the national title he won last year.

13 schools from across the Waikato region entered to see who would represent Waikato at this year's nationals.

Hoera Kereama represented his school, Te Rau Aroha, and won it in 2011 in Tauranga.

He now teaches at Te Rau Aroha and mentored his students for this competition.

While Māori and English speeches were heard inside the hall, last year's Senior Māori winner, Kaharau Keogh was outside preparing himself for his speech.

He told Te Kāea that despite this being his fifth year in competition, he was still excited and worried about remembering my words.

His topic was "Should Te Reo Māori be a part of the aggregate in Te Matatini?"

'I don't agree, I don't agree.  My speech today will state my thoughts,' Keogh told our reporter, and it seems, the judges agreed.

He won the Senior Māori section and will represent his region again at this year's nationals being held in Waikato.