On Friday, 11 June, Year 13 reo student Pare Kira went to rep Rutherford at the prestigious Manu Kōrero speech comps in Waiōrea. The pressure was tough; candidates had to speak eloquently for 12 minutes in te reo Māori, for the prepared speech, and eight minutes in the impromptu speech.
The standard was exceptional and Pare opened the floor with great panache, giving a beautiful rendition of a waiata before talking about the deep cultural importance of moko, tying her song to Ruaumoko (deity of earthquakes, volcano, and moko) and arguing for the moko to be given the reverence it deserves today.
Selected members of the kapa went to support Pare, and many connections were made between the competing schools and kapa groups. While placings went to schools other than Rutherford, we are very proud of our speaker and rōpu kapa, and the contributions they all made to the day. It was a great day of celebrating and living our language and culture at the highest level.