Four Auckland schoolgirls determined to make a difference in the world are on their way to Sydney to compete in the first ever transtasman high school poetry slam.

The Marist College students took out the 2016 WORD - The Front Line spoken word poetry competition last month.

They beat 76 other poets from 25 high schools across Auckland to claim the title.

Jennifer Rockwell, Pearl Muzariri, Tiara Rico and Amy Crerar said spoken word was a way to make people pay attention to what they had to say.


Their poetry has tackled subjects including feminism and mental illness and the young women said it was an empowering way to vent their frustrations.

"It's therapeutic because you're talking about your problems to people who have to listen," said Rico,16.

"I have been taught to stand my ground and not let anyone push me around," added Muzariri, 17.

"When I go into a male-dominated society it's just really empowering to be able to freely express that [through poetry]."

Muzariri said it was her teacher who first suggested she give spoken word a go.

"My teacher said 'you have a big mouth ... I think this would be good for you'."

The team need to raise $2400 dollars in the next 10 days to get them across the Ditch and performing against Australia's best.

The group was excited but a little nervous about heading to Sydney to represent New Zealand on October 23.

"Every time someone says 'you're representing New Zealand' I freak out," said Rico.

All four young poets were in their first year of performing spoken word and this was Marist's first year with a team entered in WTFL.

Despite being new to the medium, Crerar, 18, said spoken word was a way to "speak things that have been on my heart for a long time".

Responses she got after performing her first poem, which dealt with social stigma around mental illness, made Crerar realise "wow, this is really meaningful."

Rockwell, 18, agreed, saying poetry gave her an outlet to speak on issues she was passionate about.

"I feel like it's my responsibility as a young woman to speak up against injustices."

The Auckland Poets Collective, which helps run WTFL, collaborated with the Sydney-based Bankstown Poetry Slam to make the transtasman battle happen for the first time.

If you would like to support the Marist College team on their trip, you can make a donation online here: