Speaking the language of success

Speaking the language of success

CPIT students have been awarded two of the top spots in a nationwide Japanese speech competition.

Year Three student Tane Webster won first place in the Japanese Study Aotearoa New Zealand (JSANZ) contest, while Hao Ming Lee took out third place in New Zealand.

JSANZ was launched last year in order to link Japanese education providers across New Zealand and work together to promote Japanese language and studies in New Zealand. For the Inaugural Tertiary Japanese Language Speech Contest, each contestant had to write a speech of about 5 minutes length on a topic of their choice. They were also required to answer two questions at the end of the speech.

Webster’s winning speech was on how studying Japanese had changed him and why he was glad he chose to continue studying it at the tertiary level. “Winning this award shows that all of the hard work over the last few years has paid off,” Webster says.  “Lots of people in my wider family speak two or three languages so I've heard a lot about the benefits of learning a second language. In primary school my best friend was Japanese and I also started doing Karate. I’ve had an interest in Japan ever since then.”


Lee says he is still “dumbfounded” by the fact he came third. “The contest was open to anyone so I decided to test my Japanese ability to see how well I would do on a national level,” he says. “When I saw my name on the website, I thought to myself that all the study I have done has finally paid off.” He says CPIT prepared him well for the competition. “I would just like to thank all the tutors for all the support, guidance and the effort they put into teaching me.”

CPIT Japanese tutor Yoshihiko Holmes was thrilled with the students’ success.  “It’s amazing and shows that CPIT’s Japanese Degree students are among the highest in New Zealand. We should be very proud of ourselves.”

As his prize, Webster has won a trip to Japan which he can take anytime over the next year. He has also separately received a Sasakawa Undergraduate scholarship which nets him $1000 a year for the four years of his degree.

A ceremony will be held at CPIT on September 26th to celebrate the win. Details will be announced soon.