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Dunedin boy Kiringaua Cassidy won first place in the Pei Te Hurinui Jones - Senior Maori section of the Nga Manu Korero competition's southern stage, held at Taieri College yesterday.
He has earned a place in the national finals in Palmerston North in September.
The 15-year-old's win comes after he won two prizes in junior sections in previous years.
Kiringaua joked he was "speechless" following his latest triumph.
His speech strived to enlighten the audience on the struggles of Maori since the arrival of Europeans.
"My main topic was about how Maori are living as visitors in our own land and about the history of colonisation," he said.
He also discussed the Maori Representation Act of 1867, which created four Maori seats in Parliament
There were now seven such electorates but there remained insufficient representation of Maori, and especially of te reo speakers, at the highest levels, he said.
Kiringaua, who is home-schooled, said after his win, he wanted better teaching of New Zealand history in schools.
"Just the real history of how our country was founded ... to enlighten people on the struggles Maori have gone through since the arrival of Europeans. There's still a long way to go."
Full list of winners. -
Pei Te Hurinui Jones - Senior Maori: Kiringaua Cassidy 1, Tutaawa Pewhairangi, Jennifer Marsh equal 2.
Korimako - Senior English: Taumana Pene 1, Grace Turipa 2, Jordyn Katipa-Martin 3.
Rawhiti Ihaka - Junior Maori: Maia Rakete-Gray 1, Amiria Davis 2, Andre Taani 3.
Sir Turi Carroll - Junior English: Mya Kairau 1, Jordishae Raimona 2, Ethan Rangitutia 3.