The Te Arawa Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition was held in Rotorua today.
Schools from across the region competed for the right to represent their region in the national competition later in the year.
Past Te Arawa winners in the national competition include Tupoutahi Winitana (2007) and Herea Winitana (2010) in the senior Māori and Pei Te Hurinui Jones sections.
However, this generation is set on creating their own legacy.
One such student, Skylah Peneha, has her sights set on feeding the language to the next generation.
"I want to study at Waikato University, and be a Māori teacher," says the student from Taupō-Nui-a-Tia College.
The winners in this region will compete at the Manu Kōrero national competition in Palmerston North in September.