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Ngā Puna o Waiōrea (NPoW) are the 2023 National Grand Slam Champions of WORD – The Front Line, the premier inter-high school spoken word poetry competition in Aotearoa that is run by Action Education in collaboration with YouthLine. WORD – The Front Line is a platform for young people to express themselves, connect with others, and discover how they can change the world.

The 2023 NPoW team (shown above, from left to right) consisted of Year 10 ākonga Milan Moala and three Year 13 ākonga – Piremina Ngapera, Koromiko Jacob-Williams and Billy McCarthy.

After months of practising, a lot of food, a lot of writing and pontification, these ākonga came up with three separate poems to take to the stage going head-to-head with more than 30 other schools around Tāmaki-Makaurau.

Initially beginning with open heats before moving through the semi-finals and into the finals, in each of 3 separate events proving their merit and skills as writers and performers. On the night of the Grand Slam finals (September 16th), they were praised for being innovative, consistent, and authentic in their respective performance which culminated in their final piece featuring the whole team and leaving the room Dead. Silent. There are not many more words that can be said about these amazing ākonga, except that they have made their kaiako and their kura very proud.

Spoken Word team were interviewed by Jessie Mulligan on RNZ. Listen to the end.

Matua Rewa Worley
NPoW Kaiako

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