Speech New Zealand works with dedication to be informed and guided by Partnership, Credibility and Empowerment

Our Values


We value relationships that encourage and respect diversity in all forms.


As educators, we strive to deliver the best outcomes for all our stakeholders.


We are committed to supporting the growth and development of all our stakeholders.

Our History

He whakatauki, titoro whakamuri, kokiri whakamua

Speech New Zealand began life in 1964 as the locally-based Wellington Speech Board. By 1966, it had awakened national interest through the breadth of its aims – to provide localised examinations to New Zealanders and to acknowledge the importance of New Zealand literature in these examinations. Thus, the examining body became the New Zealand Speech Board with the motto "Speech is Life".

Development was rapid. By 1967, the original six grades of the Speech and Drama syllabus had been extended to eight, plus diploma levels. From 1970, a Public Speaking and Communication syllabus was offered, plus others for Oral Communication Assessment (for schools and other community groups), Professional Speaking and English for Speakers of Other languages, expanded the syllabus offering to five. A ‘Theatre in Action’ syllabus, for group drama was added in 2003. By the year 2016, over 315,000 candidates had been examined.

A new century and a new millennium stimulated the Board to adopt a new image and brand of ‘Speech New Zealand’. The name was supported by the new motto – “Helping our nation to communicate”.

Why Us

We are Local

All our approachable staff are Zealand-based with syllabi written by our teachers and examiners keeping content and tasks relevant to our Kiwi candidates.

Our Dedication

We offer 8 different syllabi specific to oral communication from Speech and Drama to English Language Learners, with candidates from 5 years old to professionals in the workplace.

Our Team

Our network of fantastic teachers around Aotearoa!

Our team is composed of passionate educators, experienced examiners, and enthusiastic professionals, all united by a common goal—to enhance oral communication skills and empower our community. Our teachers can customise a learning programme for you and your needs!

Learn more about the faces behind our mission and discover the wealth of expertise and commitment that drives us to inspire confident communicators across New Zealand.


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