Kiwi boys take gold in tense eight-nation Kids Literature Quiz

Stuff.co.nz

The Kids Lit Quiz gets underway at Auckland's Aotea Centre attracting teams from around the world.

Forget the Olympics, on Friday night in Auckland the hot international competition was one featuring a chatty man in a top hat, and 32 staggeringly well-read children sitting anxiously at tables on the stage of the Aotea Centre.

And the result was a nailbiter.

This was the international final of the Kids Lit Quiz - an eight-nation clash that pits teams against each other in a first-to-the-buzzer contest.

The Kiwi team ready for some action.
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

The Kiwi team ready for some action.

Rather than sprinting, jumping, paddling canoes or dancing in unison underwater, these competitors were vying to demonstrate their near-encyclopaedic knowledge of nursery rhymes, dystopian fiction, graphic novels, classic children's literature and other stuff you've never heard of but they've almost certainly read.

The eight teams of four school-uniformed children - all aged 11 to 14 - each clustered around their table, four hands hovering over the giant red buzzer in the centre.

They listened intently, with furrowed brow and jiggling knee, as quizmaster and Kids Lit Quiz founder Wayne Mills stood at the podium, reading progressive questions that started impossibly obscurely then added increasingly easy clues until one of the teams felt confident enough to buzz in.

The final rounds of the quiz were tense.
LAWRENCE SMITH / FAIRFAX NZ

The final rounds of the quiz were tense.

Wrong answers were punished with negative points so the stakes were high.

Since 1991 Mills has taken the quiz from a local Waikato event to an international extravaganza with regional and national heats involving thousands of teams from United States, the United Kingdom, Australia,, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada, as well as New Zealand.

In recent years the grand final has been in UK, the US and South Africa, but this year the show was back in its homeland.

The South African team muse over a brain teaser.
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

The South African team muse over a brain teaser.

Mills was clearly having a hell of a time.

Ad Feedback

If a buzzer-presser answered correctly he'd roar it back like an auctioneer taking an impressive bid.

All the same, he couldn't always contain his disappointment if an excessively brainy team guessed the answer just a few words into the clue.

The UK team who almost pipped New Zealand at the post.
LAWRENCE SMITH / FAIRFAX NZ

The UK team who almost pipped New Zealand at the post.

"First flippin sentence!" he said, as the South African team correctly identified "Squirrel Girl" in the female superhero round.

"That's months of work there, and they get it in one sentence!"

In the first of the 10 rounds it looked like South Africa were going to waltz away, with two wins in the first three questions, but as the rounds passed they handed the lead to the UK, New Zealand and Canadian teams.

By half-time UK were in the lead.

But then, inexorably, the local boys from Wellington private school Wellesley College pulled away.

The boys - Tom Adams, Archie Chandler, William Chandler and Harry Hampton - finished the ninth round with an apparently unassailable lead only to watch anxiously as the all-girl UK team slashed a five-point lead to a solitary point in a punishing poetry round.

But one point was just enough.Gold - New Zealand. Silver - UK. Bronze - Australia.

 - Stuff.co.nz

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Improv star's NZ nerves video

Colin Mochrie will preform at Auckland's Town Hall on November 3.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Colin Mochrie will be performing with comedy troupe, the Improv Bandits.

Latest Auckland flight cancellations video

All airlines flying into and out of Auckland Airport have been affected by the jet fuel crisis.

Effects of the jet fuel pipe line shut-down continue at Auckland Airport.

Travellers caught up in jet fuel crisis

Simon Jones and Aurelie Meurice are dreading their extra-long flight to Manchester via Melbourne and Dubai with their ...

Some are worried disruptions will cause them to miss longed-for trips and celebrations.

Fletcher workers to strike

Workers at a Hunua quarry site owned by Fletcher Building will picket in protest over hours and pay.

Auckland quarry workers' union says their pay doesn't keep up with cost of living.

Wellington

Eli gains loyal, helpful friend video

Six-year-old Eli Burkhalter with  his new assistance dog Taffy.

Taffy the golden labrador is a welcome companion for six-year-old Waikanae boy.

Kids sick on synthetics

Synthetic drugs, often mixed with dried leaves resembling cannabis, have claimed at least 20 lives in New Zealand this ...

Youngest was just 5 as three Porirua kids taken to hospital severely ill.

SH1 blockage cleared

NZTA advised of delays on around the Paremata roundabout and Mana on State Highway 1 after a three-car crash at Plimmerton.

Minor delays continue after a two-car crash near Plimmerton.

Capital train strike likely

Capital commuters are likely to face disruptions as rail workers prepare to strike.

Disruptions ahead for Wellington rail commuters as employment dispute boils over.

Canterbury

'Bound together by cancer' video

Christchurch father of two Kevin "Chalky" Carr received the news that his pancreatic cancer was back and his prognosis ...

Chalky Carr could have focused on his own cancer fight. Instead, he's raising $100,000 for a girl he'd never met.

Mum 'cannot grieve' video

Michelle Bishop is upset at the service received by funeral home Poppy Funerals following the death of her daughter ...

Michelle Bishop feels let down by funeral director who gave her Thin Lizzy for body and booked funeral at buffet restaurant.

Who won the final debate? video

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Labour party leader Jacinda Ardern speaks during the TVNZ Vote 2017 2nd Leaders ...

Jacinda Ardern looked and sounded like someone in a fight for their political life. And she is.

Just smile at the road rage video

30082018 News: GEORGE HEARD/STUFF

Stuff Reporter Julian Lee takes a day out in Christchurch to really see what people ...

They may not be rich, but these three blokes don't want for much.

Waikato

A $30m Taupō shopping list

Saturday's $13m Lotto winner could buy a bar, a 7-bedroom house, a helicopter and Tesla S electric car - and still have ...

Mystery Powerball winner can buy the dream house, car, chopper and even the local Irish pub.

City's $1b water park

The site could be home to an adventure park where visitors can try wakeboarding or scramble over an inflatable aquatic ...

Plans for a water adventure park, including housing, have been revealed.

Threatened at knifepoint

Police received reports of the robbery in Tokoroa at 10.05pm (File).

A Tokoroa dairy worker was threatened with a knife during a late night attempted robbery.

Massive slip crosses river

A slip, estimated between 10 and 20 hectares, has fallen from private farm land in Waitomo.

Rain-soaked landslide was so big and so fast that rolled over a river and onto a road.

Taranaki

Death of monkey at Brooklands Zoo

150816 News Grant Matthew/Fairfax NZ 

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys at the Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.

Nephrite leaves behind her 5-year-old daughter Inca, and Inca's dad.

Tight result predicted 

New Plymouth candiates
Clockwise from top left: Murray Chong (NZ First), Jonathan Young (National), Corie Haddock ...

Six New Plymouth electorate candidates still have more to do before they can relax

Ngā Manu Kōrero begins

Dr Ruakere Hond addressed the manuhiri (visitors).

Students from 52 schools across Aotearoa have arrived in New Plymouth for a speech competition.

Principal search

Lynda Stuart, president of the NZEI, said there are ore principal vacancies than usual.

Four schools are looking for principals, and another four are looking for deputies and assistants.

Manawatu

Another feather in artist's cap

13092017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF		
Artist Joe Mcmenamin has worked with Lytton St School kids making a large, ...

Artist brightening up Manawatū streets with mural artwork.

Convicted killer sues 

Convicted murderer Stephen Hudson appeared by audio-visual link to the High Court in Wellington. (File photo)

Stephen Hudson was in Whanganui Prison, he's now in Rimutaka, but he wants to be at Tongariro.

Two service stations held up

The BP service station in Main St, Palmerston North, was robbed by two armed men on Wednesday.

Armed men entered a BP in Palmerston North and a Mobil in Levin.

House fire investigated

Firefighters put out a house fire in Eyre St, Feilding, early on Thursday.

Investigators are looking into the cause of a fire in an empty Feilding house overnight.

Nelson

Great Kererū Count due to start

Nelsonians have been invited to do their bit to help keep count of the nation's kererū.

It's time to get our your notebooks and keep your eyes peeled for New Zealand's native wood pigeon.

'What's a candidate?' video

Birchwood School students from left Jacob 8, Talei 9, Mia 8, talk to Stuff about their thoughts on the election and politics.

They can't legally vote until 2029, but they still have strong views on the election.

Who are you voting for?

Who are you voting for?

How are you voting on Saturday? Have your say in our election poll.

Home detention for sexual assaults

Ian Hopkins has been sentenced to home detention after being found guilty of indecent assault against three women.

A 75-year-old Nelson man given home detention over indecent assaults on three women.

Marlborough

Recycling in the bag

Pak 'n Save owner Mark Elkington with their new soft plastics recycling bin.

Millions of plastic bags destined for landfill can now be recycled.

The generation game

The chutney-taste test is a serious business for members of the Women's Institute.

The cavalry is coming for one of New Zealand's oldest institutions - and they've brought chutney.

'Taylor-made' for trees

The first planting event in 2014 saw  Marlborough Landscape Group members, from left, Helen Ballinger, Ralph Ballinger ...

 It began as an idea to enhance the river and has branched out into something much bigger.

When one door closes ...

Business owners Holly Bonnington, right, and Kay Nicholls (centre) at the Sneaky Beach Cafe in Havelock.

The Sneaky Beach Cafe opened this week in Havelock, much to the excitement of locals.

South Canterbury

Men's health focus of campaign

Jonty Penney from Timaru is participating in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise funds for men,s health.

Two Timaru men are taking the health message on the road.

Flow-on concerns

David Hurst, from A J Engineering in Washdyke, is concerned about the impact of the water levy.

S Canty businesses concerned about impact of Labour's water levy, spokesman says concerns unjustified.

New Mackenzie CEO

New Mackenzie council chief executive Suzette van
Aswegen.

A current staff member will take on the top job at the Mackenzie District Council.

'He's a hero,' neighbour says

The remains of the Waipopo property on Wednesday afternoon.

Waipopo man who rescued wife from fire would have used 'every bit of strength'.

Otago

Search for missing man

Missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

More than 30 ground searchers, three search dogs and an aerial search have failed to find any further sign of missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe

Serial sea lion killer at large video

A sea lion found shot on a Catlins beach in Southland in April.

A serial killer may be targeting New Zealand sea lions, with a $5000 reward on offer in exchange for the culprit.

Fired while on sick leave

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered Oamaru-based P&W Painters (PWP) to compensate former employee Paul ...

Company that unfairly fired brush hand while on sick leave also had to compensate an ex-staffer who was called a "baby killer".

Kidnapping duo plead guilty

Nick Miles, 24, and Gary Michael Wilson, 46, have admitted kidnapping a man and dumping him on the outskirts of Dunedin.

Two men kidnapped and dumped another man on the outskirts on Dunedin.

Southland

Youth organisations make appeal

Sam Balloch was one of dozens of volunteers seeking signatures for a petition to keep Number 10 One Stop Shop and ...

Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop and the Invercargill Secondary Schools Network are gathering support for their petition to remain at their current location.

Pound in clear

An animal group and the Invercargill City Council are at odds about how a dog was treated. (File photo)

Ministry for Primary Industries clears the Invercargill City Council over captive bolt use.

Forestry gets favour: ES

Nicol Horrell, chairman of Environment Southland.

''Forestry operators will be able to operate at lower environmental standards than other resource users in Southland."

Quake off Southland coast

A magnitude 5.8 quake struck near Southland.

A 5.8 earthquake hit off the coast of Southland - but its shaking was unnoticeable, GeoNet says.

Ad Feedback