A total of 117 students from Years 5-13, from 17 schools took part in this year's 16th Rotorua Inter-schools Chinese Speech Competition.

The new schools this year included Tauriko and Oropi schools from Tauranga, Tarawera High in Kawerau and Te Kura Panguru O Taumata in Panguru, who travelled 10 hours to be with us.

The event was held on Friday August 19 at the Western Heights High School hall.

It was a challenging time for judges National Chinese Adviser Dr Fu Jiwei, director Confucius Institute Victoria University Professor Yang Xiaoqing and past president NZCLA Kweiyi Dannenbring.


The judges were unanimous in their praise of the high quality of the tonal accuracy of the students as well as fascinated with the creativity of their presentations in particular the children from the primary schools.

Mayor Steve Chadwick in her address spoke of how learning Chinese would give a "huge advantage".

These students will form the generation of New Zealanders who can communicate with the Chinese in their native tongue, Mrs Chadwick said.

- supplied by Western Heights High School
May Kingsford Challenge Trophy: Taine Harvey - WHHS
Waiariki Challenge Trophy: Ryan Beamish - RBHS
Category A: Years 5&6
1st Tyler Pendergrast - Oropi School
2nd Yoshi van Riessen - Otonga School
3rd Aidan Nicholson - St Mary's
Category B: Years 7&8
1st Nikia Davis - Tarawera High
2nd Tawhirangi MacPherson - Kaitao Intermediate
3rd Jovana Jotev - Kaitao Intermediate
Category C: Year 9
1st Majean Rogers - Tarawera High
2nd Tiaki Maraki - RBHS
3rd Herewini Ngatai & Keden Wichmann - RBHS
Category D: Year 10
1st Breyton Westrupp - RBHS
2nd Michael Stanley - RBHS
3rd Taine Harvey - WHHS
Category E: Year 11
1st Sion Kang - WHHS
2nd Liam Wilson - WHHS
3rd Iliesa Baleisuva - RBHS
Category F: Years 12 & 13
1st Ryan Beamish - RBHS
2nd Shyrone Pubben - WHHS
3rd Ashleigh Campbell - WHHS
Native speakers: juniors
Winner Feran Wang - Kaharoa School
Native speakers: seniors
Winner Shi Jiaxin - Rotorua Girls' High