Two Tauranga students have spelt out their success, by making the New Zealand spelling bee nationals.

Otumoetai College students Bethany Lake, 13, and Holly Lander, 14, were selected to compete for New Zealand's top speller, after securing their places at the Central North Island Spelling Bee semi-final in Hamilton.

The keen spellers will compete with the top 36 Year 9 and 10 spellers from around the country, in Auckland in October.

Bethany put her win down to luck, and was looking forward to the banquet at the event.


She said her friends were excited for her after she made it to the nationals.

Holly was awarded with a cake from her friends, after she correctly spelt 'curmudgeon' to get her through to the finals.

She put her spelling talent down to "reading a lot, and noticing words".

"It also means at least in exams I'm not going to get any points off [for incorrect spelling]."

English teacher Julie Secker said they would be preparing the students by giving them a new word to spell everyday.

She said it was tough competition at the nationals.

"I can barely stand it, you get one letter wrong and you're out. It's quick fire with no second chances."

Fifteen students from Tauranga competed at the Central North Island regional semi-final.

Spelling Bee event founder Janet Lucas said it was a competition against the dictionary.

"But the spellers love it; it's fiercely competitive but in a fun way. The best thing about it is they have all learned new words which they will have for the rest of their lives."