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Marine Parade, Napier
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Daily from 9:00am - 5:00pm,
last entry 4:30pm

Biodiversity Hits the Right Note

You’ll be mistaken for thinking you were in the film set of the Dr Seuss Lorax movie, at the National Aquarium of New Zealand on Thursday night.  Taea Southwick from Bledisloe School in Taradale won the Hillmac Electrical Junior Speech Contest.  Her prop was a lovingly crafted truffula tree, topped with a bright shaggy red tuft, her speech was entitled ‘Unless we look after our Biodiversity…’

Ten students from Nuhaka to Havelock North, spoke fluently and confidently on ‘biodiversity in my backyard’.  After weeks of planning, structuring and practising they were chosen to represent their schools.

The topic proved popular “The teachers loved the topic as much as the students” said Nelson Park senior teacher, Tracy Mudd, “I learnt so much from the whole process and about biodiversity.  We look forward to next year’s challenge.”

‘Human Pollution in the Sea’ was the title of second place Caleb Macklow’s speech from Mahora School in Hastings,

Nuhaka School contestant Wyntah Green Thom has been juggling speechmaking with chess and is now in the winning team that will represent Hawkes Bay in the National Chess Tournament.  Wyntah says she has enjoyed writing and sharing her story for the Hillmac Speech competition.  Speech making and delivering are  new to her and she was both nervous and excited about accepting the challenge.

Her speech title,  ‘The Good, the Bad and the Pocket Money’, on the damage white butterflies can do, was tied for third place with Quaylo Olsen from Frimley School, in Hastings who’s speech was called ‘Biodiversity’.

The judge, Josephine Carpenter, speech and drama teacher, Speech New Zealand examiner and former Director of Performing Arts at Woodford House acknowledged the ten contestants for their courage in getting up to speak, their use of te reo, ability to tell stories and anecdotes, their deep level of understanding of biodiversity and the need to protect it.  “It’s a talk, it needs to be talked out, to keep it’s freshness, not written out word for word.  Stand up tall and speak your truth”, said Mrs Carpenter.

Chief sponsor and CEO of Hillmac Electrical Mike Hill has previously found public speaking challenging and he spoke of the importance on developing confident communicators and how important these public speaking skills are in the workplace.

The other contestants were: Saraid Murphy - Nelson Park – in Napier, ‘Biodiversity with a focus on Pekapeka’; Sarah Hansen from  Greenmeadows in Taradale, with ‘Napier's Special Wetland’; Rosie Ormond from Sherenden and Districts School, ‘Biodiversity and Climate Change’; Isabella McKeefry - Te Mata School, ‘Let’s Protect Te Mata Peak’; Ruby Haworth - Reignier School in Greenmeadows, with  ‘Bee for Biodiversity’; Noah Rogers from Parkvale School in Hastings with 'What are we doing to Papatuanuku?

The Hillmac Electrical Intermediate School Speech Contest is next Thursday 6 September, from 6-8.30pm, with ten contestants from Wairoa to Havelock North.  It is free and open to members of the public. 

If you have any questions please contact the organiser Anna Coleman, from the Confidence Company on 021 150 3517,

30 July 2019

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