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Inaugural Waitangi Day Speech Competition

Press release from Waitangi Treaty Grounds

A nationwide speech competition has been announced by Waitangi Treaty Grounds for Year 11 students. The theme for the speech competition is: “What does Waitangi Day mean to me?” Entry to the competition opens on 1st September and closes on 29th September. The Waitangi Speech Competition will give young people a platform to share their views in a public forum.

The winning student receives return travel for two to the Bay of Islands with Air New Zealand, accommodation at Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia courtesy of Westpac NZ, attendance at Waitangi Day functions on the 5th and 6th February, and the opportunity to deliver the winning speech at Waitangi. The winner also receives a certificate, a taonga and a carved trophy for their school to display for 9 months. The runner-up will receive a certificate and a taonga.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds CEO, Greg McManus, said the competition is all about inspiring young people to reflect on our national day and what it means for them. “Some of the most interesting perspectives I have heard about Te Tiriti and nationhood have come from young New Zealanders so this competition is an opportunity to harness those perspectives and give them a forum for expression. We are very grateful to Air NZ and Westpac NZ for helping to make it happen.”

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Education Manager Monika Kern is excited about hearing students’ views.  “Young people of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As we are celebrating our national day, Waitangi Day, we need to ask ourselves what does this day mean to them? The Waitangi Day Speech Competition wants provides a platform to students to share their views with us all. I am very thankful to Vicki Barrie, Principal at Northcote College, for inspiring us to get this competition up and running”.

More information about the Waitangi Day Speech competition is available on

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