Posts in Uncategorised

Covid-19 Update – 7 September 2021

Please see below for our most recent Covid-19 protocol updates.

Website protocol – September 7 2021

Additional information:

Covid-19 Update – 6 September 2021

With everywhere in New Zealand except Auckland moving Alert Levels on Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 11.59pm, please note the following:

As of Wednesday 8 September 2021, for all locations outside of Auckland city:

If you have a query about your examination, please contact your teacher. All teachers are receiving regular updates from Speech NZ, and it is our priority to ensure they have all the information they need for upcoming examinations.

If you are unable to make contact with your teacher for some reason, please get in touch with National Office at


For teaching resources, please check out our page here:

Covid-19 Update – 1st September 2021

Well here we are again!

Lockdowns have once again affected examinations, but don’t worry – we are working through it!

If you have a query about your examination, please contact your teacher. All teachers are receiving regular updates from Speech NZ, and it is our priority to ensure they have all the information they need for upcoming examinations.

If you are unable to make contact with your teacher for some reason, please get in touch with National Office at


For teaching resources, please check out our page here:

NEW Scholarship – Grade 5 Flexi Speaking and Performing

The Gabrielle Balch Scholarship for Grade 6 Flexi Speaking and Performing

This NEW scholarship will be awarded each year to a very talented Grade 5 candidate, performing at Honours Plus level, to encourage them to continue with their examinations. This will be an examiner-nominated scholarship, with the award of free entry into Grade 6 Flexi Speaking and performing. Candidates who sit Grade 5 Flexi Speaking and Performing in 2021 will be the first to be put forward for this scholarship.


Helen Balch brings this scholarship to life in 2021 to acknowledge her mum, Gabrielle.
Helen’s mum got her into speech and drama lessons in Greymouth when Helen was 6 years old. She thought the breathing exercises might help Helen’s asthma! When the family moved to Lower Hutt a couple of years later, Helen learnt from Berwyn Gibbons, one of the founding mothers of Speech NZ. Gabrielle soon took on the role of local secretary for the Hutt Valley. She also served on the competitions committee in Lower Hutt.

Helen Balch, and her sisters Jill and Ruth who also sat Speech NZ exams with their mother Gabrielle in April 2021

When the family moved to Christchurch she continued with the competitions work. When Helen started teaching, she initially taught from her parents home, and when she had her children they came along with her and were looked after by their retired grandparents. Gabrielle always took a keen interest in all the students who passed through her house and they loved her – and her baking!
Gabrielle is now 93 and has severe Dementia, and whenever Helen goes to visit, although she cannot remember she is her mother, she does often ask about her students and if she has any outstanding ones at present! If it wasn’t for her mum, Helen may never have enjoyed her long association with Speech NZ. It has been 48 years since she sat her first Speech NZ exam!

We are always looking to further support our fantastic candidates with scholarships. Would you be interested in creating an annual scholarship? We are particularly looking for Grade 6 and 7 Flexi Speaking and Performing scholarships, and would love to hear from anyone wanting to become a donor.

Checklist of our SNZ Syllabuses


Values Competition – Flyer

Speech NZ – New Vision and Values

Speech NZ is thrilled to announce its updated Vision and Values in 2021.

During an intensive Strategic Planning workshop in March 2021, and in the following weeks and months, the Board focused on the future of Speech NZ – where it’s heading, how it will address current and future issues, and what it really wants to achieve.

“Speech New Zealand is proud of the examination syllabi we offer, regularly updating them so that they match current teaching and learning pedagogy,” said Karen Austin, Chair of Examinations.

Led through the workshop by Del Costello, Trustee and Business Development Chair, the Board delved into the top priorities of the organisation, addressed its strengths and challenges, and began to lay the groundwork for the next three, five, and ten years of helping New Zealanders to communicate better.

“Working with the Board to come up with a shared vision and a set of values has provided us with the foundations to craft an exciting strategic plan,” said Del Costello.

A Strategic Planning committee continue to develop the finer details of the new strategic plan, but the Board can now release the following Vision and Values of Speech NZ.

The Vision of Speech NZ

Our vision is to develop confident, articulate New Zealand voices through relevant, future focused strategies that will empower and strengthen communities.

The Values of Speech NZ

Speech New Zealand works with dedication to be informed and guided by:
Partnership – as New Zealanders, we value relationships that encourage and respect diversity in all forms.
Credibility – as educators, we strive to deliver the best outcomes for all our stakeholders.
Empowerment – as an organisation, we are committed to supporting the growth and development of all our stakeholders.

“We realise we must find new ways to offer our versatile programme to everyone”, says Speech NZ Board Chair Pauline Prendergast. “We know we have a valuable product that empowers us to become effective communicators. The Board has worked on a process to reach out to all New Zealanders in this constantly changing world. As Socrates wisely said: ‘The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.’ We are excited about the opportunities to embrace all New Zealanders, by building on what we have, to develop new pathways to knowledge and confidence.”

Speech NZ is a “not for profit” Registered Charitable Trust, and armed with its new strategic plan, it is looking to spread the opportunities offered by its programmes further across New Zealand. “We always accept donations gratefully and we are currently seeking sponsorship for scholarships for our newest syllabus, the Flexi Speaking and Performing syllabus,” said Pauline Prendergast.

For more information on the different syllabi, becoming a teacher or a student, donating or sponsoring, or simply to get in touch, please contact Emma Carpenter and the team at the National Office.

Speech New Zealand
04 498 9660

Welcoming new Flexi Syllabus alongside new National Office Members!

Flexi Speaking and Performing Syllabus

We are thrilled to announce our new Flexi Speaking & Performing syllabus is now available online!

This new syllabus offers choices, Zoom and face-to-face examinations, online entries, easy access to reports, free workshops and no modules.

Access the exciting new addition to the Speech New Zealand syllabus family here.

Also welcoming three new National Office Team Members!

We are pleased to announce the new members of our Speech New Zealand National Office team.

Emma Carpenter

Executive Officer

Emma joins Speech New Zealand after returning home to New Zealand from Minneapolis in the United States, where she had been juggling roles with several organisations for 3 years – including the Minnesota Opera, The Bar Method, and Edina Realty. Emma has extensive experience in management, marketing & design, and website development, and is excited to put these skills to use through the continued development of Speech New Zealand.

Emma’s role as Executive Officer involves the management of all day-to-day proceedings, spear-heading developments, and working closely with the Board to realise and deliver on their business development strategies.


Catherine ChampionCatherine Champion

Tour Administrator

Catherine joins us from taking some time off after her son was born in 2019.  Prior to this, she was working in London and travelling around the UK for the better part of 6 years.  She has a background in digital advertising operations working within several large media companies.  She is responsible for overseeing the administrative organisation of the Speech NZ centre examination tours and working closely with the Local Secretaries to ensure smooth operations.


Claire TannerClaire Tanner


Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Aoraki te maunga
Ko Waitaki to awa
Ko Ngāi Tahu te iwi
Te Whānau a Moeraki te hāpu
Ko Claire Tanner toku ingoa
Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

Claire’s background is in Early Childhood Education, having taught both in NZ and the UK for more than 20 years. She now calls Christchurch home, and has been the Local Secretary there since 2012. Claire has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to side step within the education sector into a role where she doesn’t come home covered in paint or sand, but where the importance of oral communication skills are still the focus.

Claire’s role covers a wide variety of elements, including online development, training for Local Secretaries and others who use the online system and general administration of Centre Tours. Claire continues in her role as administrator for online exams via Zoom.


Kim Penman

Theory Administrator

Kim has had an involvement with Speech NZ for many years as a proud supporting parent. Her experience with assisting her children and supporting them through the syllabi has given her an in-depth knowledge of what Speech NZ has to offer. She has a Diploma in Youth Work and has been involved in many different volunteering roles. She is passionate about encouraging young people to advocate for themselves.

Kim’s role centres mainly in the administration of Theory, badges, and processing examination results for certificates. She works alongside the other SNZ administrators to ensure efficient operations.


Florence Lim


Florence has more than 20 years of experience working in the Chartered Accountancy Business Advisory Services, specialising in Financial Reporting, Tax Structure, and Compliance. She is passionate about seeing continued positive results for all her clients.

Florence currently holds a number of contracts to a few local businesses as their Financial and Management Accountant. She enjoys working closely with a small number of clients, to help their businesses grow. She is thrilled to add Speech New Zealand to her portfolio in 2021.


Just released! Speech New Zealand’s Flexi Syllabus!

Released on 1 July 2020 the Flexi Speech and Drama Syllabus is Speech New Zealand’s newest syllabus. This is the first of two new flexi syllabi planned to run alongside our current Speech & Drama and Public Speaking syllabi.

The purpose of the flexi syllabus is to offer teachers and candidates more choice. One of the post lockdown educational findings is that students are feeling the pressure of having less time available to achieve their learning outcomes. The flexi syllabus offers teachers and candidates the opportunity to prepare for examinations within a shorter timeframe.

The Flexi Speech and Drama Syllabus is for Initial – Grade 8. A difference between the current and the flexi syllabus is that there are no modules in the flexi syllabus. In keeping with Speech New Zealand’s aim to offer more choice to teachers and candidates examinations are available by Zoom or face to face. Entries are made through our new, easy to access entry form on this website. The fees are the same as for the current Speech and Drama Syllabus. The Flexi Speech and Drama Syllabus is available online only.

Speech New Zealand is striving to offer more choice to teachers and candidates. Keep watching for the Flexi Public Speaking Syllabus to come on stream later in the year!



Face to face examinations are back AND Zoom examinations are here to stay too!

We can now confirm that from Term 3 we will be offering both face to face examinations AND Zoom examinations.

• During Term 2 teachers have the choice of opting for a Zoom examination on a centre tour date and on the last week of the month.

• From Term 3 face to face examinations will resume on the scheduled centre tour dates for the remainder of the year.

• From Term 3 Zoom exams will be available on the last week of each month. 

• During Term 3 we hope students who were not able to have their usual centre exam tours can be fitted into other centre tours where possible. 

We hope that the choice of face to face examinations along with Zoom examinations will offer teachers and students more flexible options.

All exam entries are now made online from this website.