Tauranga, New Zealand (Tuesday 4 March 2014) - Western Bay of Plenty secondary school students will be competing for $1,500 worth of prizes in the Battle of Gate Pa Essay Competition which launches this week.
Each College will be submitting their best entry for the junior and senior divisions to take out the title. The competition is one of the official events leading up to the 150th Battle of Gate Pa Commemoration on 29 April.
“What happened at Gate Pa in 1864 has a lot to do with the kind of place that Tauranga is today” says sponsor Ross Stanway, CEO of Eves Realty. The competition, which will be run in two divisions, has the topic of Why should we commemorate the Battle of Gate Pa of 29 April 1864? for senior essays (Years 11 – 13) and for the junior essays (Years 9 – 10): What the Battle of Gate Pa means to me.
“We think that Tauranga has a history and heritage that we would like to encourage students to find out about by doing a bit of homework about the battle and then putting the results of their investigations into an essay” Mr Stanway said. He said the essay competition was a companion to the Battle of Gate Pa Poetry Competition that the company is sponsoring, and both are part of an overall education effort directed mainly at schools.
Other education initiatives about the events of 1864, include a series of readings in primary schools by author Jenny Jenkins from her book Battle at the Gate; and Adult and Schools Art competitions. A secondary schools speech competition has also been organised.
Mr Stanway said that the essay competition would be judged by a panel of local historians headed up by Stephanie Smith from the Tauranga City Library. The winners will be announced on 22 April and the prizes awarded in the first week of May, just after commemoration week.