Wellington Regionals took place at Wellington College over the weekend of 11-12 May. 21 teams were entered from schools as far a field as the Wairarapa and Tawa. This was a large competition with a highly talented group of debaters.
There were four rounds of debating over the weekend. Teams debated issues such as banning all forms of private donations to political parties, establishing a 50% quota for women in the police force and having doctors not parents make important medical decisions about a child. It was highly competitive. In the end, Queen Margaret’s College and Wellington High School broke into the final. There, Queen Margaret’s College affirmed the motion:
“This house would force religious institutions to recognize gay marriages.”
Both teams grappled extremely well with the motion arguing over the importance of marriage for homosexuals and the rights that religious institutions have. Queen Margaret’s College were the victors with Jess Palairet, from QMC being named best speaker.
There are two lessons that can be taken from the weekend. The first is that debating tournaments become great debating tournaments by having an incredible bunch of adjudicators. I would like to thank all the judges who helped out and gave up their time over the weekend: Hugh McCaffrey, Daniel Wilson, Cam Price, Udayan Mukherjee, Clodagh O’Connor McKenna, Desley Horton, Chris Bishop, Jenna Raeburn, Nick Cross, Chuan-Zheng Lee, Polly Higbee and Jodie O’Neill. Thank you.
Secondly that Wellington Regional Debating is as strong as ever. It was fantastic to see a final debated by schools which have not been the ‘top’ schools for the last few years. It elucidates that Wellington has a strong debating culture that does not rely on individual great speakers to succeed.
Thanks again to Wellington College for hosting the event. To Ms Hazledine and Ms Dustin in particular for giving up their time to make sure the tournament ran smoothly.
Wellington Regional Convener 2013