The inaugural ‘What does Waitangi Day mean to me?’ competition is being organised by Waitangi Treaty Grounds, an organisation that is a trading name of the Waitangi National Trust, and winner of a 2016 New Zealand Tourism award.

The student with the winning speech will receive return travel for two to the Bay of Islands with Air New Zealand, accommodation at Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia courtesy of Westpac NZ, attendance at Waitangi Day functions on the 5th and 6th February, and the opportunity to deliver the winning speech at Waitangi. The winner also receives a certificate, a taonga and a carved trophy for their school to display for 9 months. The runner-up will receive a certificate and a taonga.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds CEO, Greg McManus, said the competition is all about inspiring young people to reflect on our national day and what it means for them. “Some of the most interesting perspectives I have heard about Te Tiriti and nationhood have come from young New Zealanders so this competition is an opportunity to harness those perspectives and give them a forum for expression. We are very grateful to Air NZ and Westpac NZ for helping to make it happen.”

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Education Manager Monika Kern says she thinks we should all be exploring the perspectives and ideas that young people today – tomorrow’s leaders – have in relation to Waitangi Day and it’s significance to the people of New Zealand.

“Young people of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As we are celebrating our national day, Waitangi Day, we need to ask ourselves what does this day mean to them? The Waitangi Day Speech Competition wants provides a platform to students to share their views with us all. I am very thankful to Vicki Barrie, Principal at Northcote College, for inspiring us to get this competition up and running”.

Entry to the competition opens on 1st September and closes on 29th September. 

More information about the Waitangi Day Speech competition is available on


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