Western Leader : February 24th 2011
9 WESTERN LEADER, FEBRUARY 24, 2011 NEWS Skilful speller heads off to national finals Spelling champ: Monikka Diaz, 12, is off to the national final of the New Zealand Spelling Bee in Wellington this weekend. Photo: CATHERINE HEALY By CATHERINE HEALY She's been living in New Zealand for less than a year but Monikka Diaz is already representing her school at a national level. Monikka, 12, entered the New Zealand Spell- ing Bee while at Hender- son Intermediate last year and has just started at Waitakere College. Monikka made it to the Auckland regional semifinal in November, where she qualified for the national final in Wel- lington on Saturday. The Diaz family moved to New Zealand from the Philippines in May. I love spelling but sometimes the letters confuse me,'' she says. At the semifinal it was the word conspiracy that tripped her up. I spelt it with an e instead of an a.'' Finalists receive flights to Wellington for themselves and one parent. She says her family is enjoying life in New Zealand. It's peaceful here. Manila is too busy, there are so many people.''
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