Captivating speeches from international students at IPU New Zealand’s 2018 Speech Contest

On Wednesday, 20 June 2018, fourteen speakers from Uzbekistan, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand and Taiwan competed for the top prize in the annual IPU New Zealand speech contest. This year’s speech topic was After I finish at IPU New Zealand, what is my dream? Demonstrating an impressive standard of presentation skills, the contestants’ speeches were captivating, varied and clear. The three judges—Mr Neil Bond and Mr Stewart Holdaway (Assistant Deans) and Mr Colin Bond (an experienced Toastmaster)—complimented the students on their performances.

First to take to the stage were five Japanese Level 1 and 2 English Language Studies students. In a close contest, Miku Yodaya came first, with Runa Tokudome second and Akira Marukawa third. The contestants for this contest were amazing as they have only been in New Zealand for three months and are already speaking clearly and confidently in English. Miku Yodoya, in particular, was superb with her phrase "crazy climber, high achiever" to describe her attitude to her studies and progress toward her dreams. 


Next up to the stage came three students from Taiwan and Japan, who are studying in the Level 3 and 4 English Language Studies programme. Mai Higuchi won this competition with her dream of establishing an English language teaching business when she returns to Japan after her studies.

The third section showcased the speechmaking skills of three students from Indonesia, Japan and Uzbekistan, who are working towards IPU New Zealand’s Bachelor of Contemporary International Studies. Ohga Aoki’s winning speech was about his dream of training to be a pilot and author when he returns to Japan.

The final section was for native English speakers and post-graduate students. Three students from Nepal and New Zealand competed. Sunisha Thapa, a postgraduate student from Nepal, won with a speech expressing her dream of establishing a children's home in Nepal.

The organiser, Dr Maurice Judd, was especially happy with the way the winning students had taken the opportunity to practise with the contest’s sound system in the week before the competition. Practice certainly helped performance. Congratulations and thanks to all competitors and their supporters.

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