This year will be the 70th annual Rotorua Speech and Drama Competition and one local mum is encouraging kids to get involved to build their confidence.

The largest competition of its kind in New Zealand, presented by the Rotorua Competitions Society, is set to see around 200 children aged between 5 to 18 compete.

Over three days they will take part in a variety of different categories like character recitals in costume, impromptu improvisations, poem recitals and small group dramas.

Committee member Adele Hulme said her daughters take part every year and she would encourage other children and parents to get involved too.


"We have some really good speech and drama teachers in Rotorua. The kids all feed off each other, they really enjoy it on the day.

"I encourage students to join in and give it a go."

She said she had been going around all the schools giving them the information.

"It's a group of mums that run it. It's really good for the children, they really shine on the day. It's a big confidence boost," she said.

Her daughter Isabel Hulme, 18, has finished school now but she said she entered it every year while she was there and she has been helping her mum to encourage students to join the competition.

"It's so much fun. It's a lot of work. There's always so much excitement and positivity. It helps with general confidence and speaking. It's good for all ages too," she said.

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Three adjudicators work together to judge the performances and give feedback to all who enter and award certificates to those who achieve the highest marks.

The competitions are being held at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre from 8.30am until late each day.

The premier event is the "Performer of the Year" - entrants compete for this title on Saturday at 7pm.

Admission to all performances is free for the public to enjoy.

Although entries are closed for this year, students interested in performing next year are encouraged to go down and check it out.