A team of keen quiz players from Whanganui Intermediate are off to the capital for a chance to represent New Zealand on the international stage.

The Kids' Lit Quiz national final takes place on Sunday in Wellington, where the team of Bede McDouall, Hector Macbeth, Toby Clark and Finnian Sinclair will be looking to continue their winning ways.

The team recently won the Taranaki-Whanganui regional leg of the competition to earn a spot in the national final.

A second team from Whanganui Intermediate also competed in the regional final and secured another podium finish for the school, coming in third place.


The annual competition features teams made up of four pupils between ages 10 and 13, who have the task of answering 100 questions broken into 10 categories.

The categories differ each year but are generally along the lines of poetry, authors, titles, settings, characters and nursery rhymes.

Team coach and school librarian Cathie Calman says it's a fun experience for competitors to show their knowledge about something they're passionate about.

"These kids are really engaged readers that get a huge lot out of reading, so it's the challenge of putting their knowledge against other teams of like-minded kids.

"They're great readers and retain what they read, it's just amazing how they can regurgitate their knowledge."

At regional finals teams are required to select one member as a scribe and write answers down, but there's added pressure at the national final where competitors need to hit a buzzer in order to answer.

Any incorrect answers result in the team losing a point from their tally.

Calman says team members soak up as much literature as they can in order to be ready for the quiz.


"The main thing is to read as widely as possible, some kids just like to read fantasy, some kids just like to read adventure stories, but these children need to be as widely read as possible so that also includes anything from picture books, graphic novels, nursery rhymes and poetry."

If successful in the national final, the Whanganui team will secure a spot in the world final which takes place in Singapore in July.

Other New Zealand schools that have previously won at the world final include St Margarets College from Christchurch, Southwell School from Hamilton, Wellesley College from Wellington and Awakeri Primary School from Bay of Plenty.