The Speech Awards are a platform for senior high school students to express their ideas on how we can improve race relations in Aotearoa and gives eloquent and thoughtful young people a chance to speak their minds and the rest of New Zealand a chance to listen to the leaders of tomorrow. The Speech Awards are held in support of Race Relations Day (21 March), and the topic for the Speech Awards is often aligned with the theme for Race Relations Day.
MIT are proud sponsors of the Speech Awards and host the Auckland heats, semis and finals at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae.
Theme for 2022
Ngā matimati nō te ringa kotahi Fingers of one hand
We are wonderfully diverse, yet there is only one race: the human race. This is not just a biological fact. The wellbeing and progress of all parts of humanity are inextricably linked, like the fingers of one hand. In this vision of the human race, everyone has their own role to play in the eradication of racial prejudice and injustice and the establishment of true unity.
Awarded speeches from the 2021 finals
Who can enter
Students in Years 11, 12 and 13
Registrations are open until 14 April.
Regional heats: between Mon 9 and Sat 14 May National semi-finals and final: between 24 and 26 June.
Regional heats are held in 14 locations around the country: Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Blenheim or Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru and Dunedin.
The national semi-finals and the final are held in Auckland.
Speeches can be delivered in English or Te Reo Māori.