The size of a school's roll in no way reflects the level of talent of its students – as was proved last Friday when the Horowhenua Chronicle was invited along to Poroutawhao School's biennial talent quest.
Robyn Day, the talent quest co-ordinator, said this event usually happens in term 3, on the alternate year to the whole school production.
"Because of the lockdown this year, we postponed the event to term 4 and we didn't get quite the number of entries we'd usually have," Day said. "Also, due to whānau not being able to attend the talent quest because of Covid restrictions, the prelims on Tuesday were filmed to share."
The guest judges for the 2021 Poroutawhao's Got Talent final were local MP Terisa Ngobi, Pā Jack Nelson-Paki who has a wealth of cultural knowledge, and local performer Taylor Salton, who has a musical theatre degree.
Day said the school has had lots of people from within the Horowhenua community taking on the role of judges for this event over the years, including representatives from the local council and the school board.
This well-entrenched tradition, which is always hotly contested, has been happening for a number of years, with the finalists from the preliminaries chosen by the staff.
The seven 2021 finalists were made up of two groups from the junior classes, four groups from the middle school, and a group from the seniors.
Most of the acts were dance groups, all of whom had choreographed their numbers themselves said Day.
The judges were impressed with all of the finalists - "I think these students are going to take over the community with their amazing talent," said Ngobi.
Salton, Nelson-Paki and Ngobi had some hard decisions to make after all the acts had performed, with each act being marked on skill level, audience engagement, originality, and enthusiasm.
But in the end, the judges managed to agree on the top three:
1st place - Sage and Darcie (middle school dance duo)
2nd place - The It's Are Back, Tilly and Izzy (middle school dance duo)
3rd place - I'm Yours, Ellie and Angel (middle school singing/ukulele playing duo)