New Zealand Schools’ Debating

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council (Te Kaunihera Tautohetohe ā-Kura o Aotearoa) Is A Non-Profit Organisation Proudly Sponsored by Russell McVeagh.

Opening of Applications for Official Positions at Nationals

The New Zealand Schools Debating Council has now opened applications for the following positions for the 2014 National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships:

  • Chief Adjudicator of the National Finals (1)
  • Adjudicators of the National Finals (no set number)
  • Motions Committee for the National Finals (3)

Below you will find role descriptions for each of the above three positions.

To apply, please send a short debating and/or adjudication CV to the President of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council ([email protected]) by 5pm on Tuesday April 15. Appointments will be made sometime the following week.

Please pass this message on to all who might be interested.

Chief Adjudicator

The Chief Adjudicator heads the Motions Committee for Nationals (explained below). They also advise the Council on the appointment of adjudicators for Nationals. During the weekend the Chief Adjudicator is responsible for the allocation of adjudicators to debates (preliminary rounds, semi-finals and Grand Final) and the running of the draw. The Chief Adjudicator is also head of the panel which selects the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team.

The Chief Adjudicator obviously must be available to be at Nationals in Wellington from 23 to 26 May. The Council will meet the flight and accommodation costs of the Chief Adjudicator should they hail from outside Wellington.


We are also looking for adjudicators for Nationals. If you:

  • are experienced at judging schools’ debates;
  • can deliver articulate oral adjudications;
  • command respect as an adjudicator; and
  • are available to be in Wellington from Friday 23 to Monday 26 August;

Then we’d love to hear from you. Judges from outside of Wellington will have their flight and accommodation costs covered by the Council.

Motions Committee

The Motions Committee consists of the Chief Adjudicator and two other persons. The Committee decides all the motions used at Nationals.

To apply for any or all of the above positions, please send a short debating and/or adjudication CV to the President of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council ([email protected]) by 5pm on Tuesday April 15. Appointments will be made sometime the following week.

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Freyberg High win first regional title

The final regional competition for 2014 took place over the weekend. Freyberg High School won their first ever CNI Regionals title, defeating defending champion Wanganui High School by 2-1 in the Grand Final. Megan Chamberlain from Freyberg was the best speaker of the tournament.

CNI Regionals 2014

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Auckland and Hawke’s Bay Regionals

Two more regional competitions in the weekend just gone.

In Auckland, 30 teams competed over the weekend before Auckland Grammar faced off against St Kentigern College in the final, with the latter emerging victorious. Harrison Fookes from Sacred Heart College was the best speaker, winning the Convenor’s Cup.

In Hawke’s Bay, Karamu High defeated Napier Boys’, winning the Bioethics Council trophy.

The final regional tournament is Central North Island, this weekend.

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Results from Wellington, Canterbury and Otago

It was a big debating weekend around the country as the Wellington, Canterbury and Otago/Southland Championships were all held simultaneously.

In Wellington, a record 28 teams competed in the tournament. Wellington Girls’ College took out their first title since 1998, defeating Hutt Valley High School, winning the Wellington Speaking Union Cup. Ned Grenfell from Hutt Valley High School was the best speaker.

In Canterbury, Christ’s College won the Press Cup, defeating Burnside High School in the Final. Vincent Curd from Christ’s was the best speaker, winning the Canterbury Speaking Union Trophy.

In Otago/Southland, James Hargest High School from Invercargill won their first title since 2007, defeating Logan Park High School. Nick Robertson from John McGlashan College was the best speaker, winning the Rachel Carrell Cup.

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Regional Results so far in 2014

The regional Russell McVeagh Debating Championships are underway for 2014!

In Northland a couple of weeks ago Kerikeri High School took out the competition.

In Waikato, John Paul College defeated Hillcrest High School in a tight 5-4 decision.

And in the weekend just gone Buller High School defeated John Paul College II in the final of the Kahurangi-Marlborough competition.

This weekend coming up sees the Wellington, Canterbury and Otago competitions taking place.

Below are the winners of the Kahurangi competition with the Jeremy Johnson Cup.



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Change in dates for Otago/Southland and CNI Regionals

Due to a range of circumstances, the dates for the Otago/Southland and Central North Island regional competitions have had to change.

Otago/Southland will now be held on 11/12 April.

CNI will now be held on 28/29 March.

For further information please contact the convenors.

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Looking for judges for Sydney in February 2014

The New Zealand Schools Debating Council is participating in an invitational tournament in Sydney between 10-16 February 2014. The tournament will involve two teams from New Zealand, two teams from Australia and at this stage, potentially teams from Asia. The debates will be held before school audiences and take place in WSDC-style.

The Council is looking for suitably qualified adjudicators from New Zealand to attend the tournament for its duration. This is a great opportunity for up and coming adjudicators / coaches around the country to get some international judging experience!

Adjudicators need to be available for the full period of the tournament and will need to cover the costs of their attendance. The Council is advised that registration will be approximately AUD$850 and will include accommodation, transportation and attendance at social events.

Adjudicators need to have experience at judging debates in the WSDC-style (the same style used at our national and regional competitions), command respect as an adjudicator, and be able to deliver adjudications in front of large school audiences. This is the perfect opportunity to gain international adjudicating experience if you are thinking of attending WSDC in Thailand in August 2014.

Please submit your expression of interest to the President of the Council ([email protected]) by 5pm on 11 January 2014. If required, the Council may then request a debating/adjudicating CV and referees.


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Appointment of New Zealand team coaches for 2014

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council is pleased to confirm the appointment of coaches to the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team for 2014, as well as the NZ Development Team.

Joshua Baxter has been appointed coach of the New Zealand team. He is a former member of the New Zealand team, and current President of the University of Auckland debating society.

Paul Smith and Daniel Wilson have been appointed as coaches of the NZ Development Team. Paul is also a former member of the New Zealand team, and Daniel Wilson recently represented New Zealand as a judge at the World Schools’ Debating Championships.

All three coaches have considerable experience as a coaches and judges in secondary school debating.

The Council congratulates all three coaches on their appointment.


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Confirmation of NZ Development Team

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council is pleased to announce the confirmation of the New Zealand Development Squad, who will compete alongside the New Zealand team at a tournament in Sydney early next year.

The team is as follows:

  • Matthew Bilton (Auckland)
  • Lucy Ellingham (Northland)
  • Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Kahurangi-Marlborough)
  • Liam Dennis (Wellington)
  • Daniel Maier-Gant (Christchurch)


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Opening of Applications for NZ Team Coach & Development Team Coach

This year’s Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team and NZ Development Team will be taking part in a tournament against two representative Australian teams in Sydney. This tournament is currently scheduled to run from 10-16 February 2014.

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council is therefore pleased to invite applications for two positions:

  • Coach of the 2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating Team
  • Coach of the 2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating Development Team

Please share this notice with others who you think may be interested.

Please note that applications will close on Wednesday 15 October at 5pm.



Role of the Coaches

The role of the NZ Team Coach and NZ Development Team Coach is to prepare the NZ team and NZ Development team thoroughly for the 2014 International Tour. The coaches are expected to attend the tournament in their respective capacities.

The coaches will be expected to organise (in conjunction with the Council) training sessions for the teams in advance of the tournament, and to run those sessions.

The NZ team manager will assist with organising travel etc, liaising with the teams, and other non-debating matters that arise. The team manager will also act as the key contact point between the Council and the coaches.

Time Commitment

The coaches will be expected to travel on the Australian Tour with the NZ Team and NZ Development Team. In the months between the time of appointment and the tournament, the coaches will be expected to make themselves available to coach the teams on mutually acceptable dates for the team members and the coach.

The number and length of training sessions will be agreed between the Council and the coach. Indicative times at this stage are: a weekend in early December, some days in late January, and some days before the tournament starts in Sydney.


The Council will meet the reasonable travel and accommodation costs for the coaches to attend training sessions, if they are not held where the coaches live.

The coaches will be expected to pay a contribution towards the travel costs of sending him or her to on the Australian Tour. This contribution has not yet been set by Council, but will be no more than $800.

If applications are made by a pair of coaches on a co-coach basis, the Council will re-evaluate the contribution of each coach.

Appointment Process

The appointment process will be as follows:

1. Applicants need to send:

  • a coaching/debating CV;
  • a letter which explains why they would like the job, why they would be a good coach for the NZ team and which comments on their strengths as a coach (applicants should feel free to provide as much info as they would like);
  • the name of one person who would be happy to be contacted as an oral referee to the President, Desley Horton, by Wednesday October 15 at 5pm. Emails should be sent

2. Council to consider applications and create a shortlist of applicants.

3. Oral referees of shortlisted applicants to be contacted.

4. Council may authorise a sub-committee to conduct an interview with short-listed applicants if deemed necessary.

5. Council to advise applicants of outcomes by the end of October.

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