Wellington win Nationals 2013

Wellington win Nationals 2013


The 2013 National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships were held from 9-12 August at Victoria University of Wellington.

2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council, and a special Silver Jubilee dinner was held on the Saturday night of the tournament, attended by many alumni of the Championships. Sir Anand Satyanand, former Governor-General and Patron of the Council, was the guest of honour at the dinner.

Twelve regional teams from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Central North Island, Wellington, Kahurangi-Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago-Southland took part in the 2013 competition. The regional teams comprised the best speakers from the hundreds of debaters who competed at various regional competitions held earlier in the year.

Teams competed in seven preliminary round debates on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus. In the preliminary rounds the teams debated the following topics:

  • This House would ban all forms of gambling
  • This House would subsidise traditional print, radio and TV media in response to the rise of online media
  • This House prefers elected Islamists to military dictatorships for the Arab World
  • This House would tie parents’ welfare payments to their childen’s health and education outcomes
  • This House believes the NZ Rugby Union should remove its current ban on overseas based New Zealanders playing for the All Blacks
  • This House would require both parents to take equal amounts of parental leave
  • This House would remove all restrictions on immigration from impoverished countries to developed countries.

After the seven  preliminary rounds, the top four teams were Wellington Gold, who had six wins, Auckland White (five wins), Wellington Black (five wins) and Auckland Blue (four wins). Northland were also on four wins but had slightly fewer speaker points than Auckland Blue.

On Monday morning the semi-finals were held at Queen Margaret College and the Travelodge Hotel.  The motion for the semi-finals was: “This House believes political party leaders should be elected by party members, not MPs.” The top two teams qualified for the Grand Final, with Auckland Blue (affirming) defeating Wellington Gold in a 3-2 decision  and Wellington Black (affirming) defeating Auckland White by 5-0.

The Grand Final was again hosted by Hon. Peter Dunne in the Legislative Council Chamber of Parliament. It was a particularly excellent line-up of distinguished guests, including Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Holly Walker MP (an alumna of the Championships),  Hamish McIntosh (Partner, Russell McVeagh) and Jan Blair (HR Coach, Russell McVeagh). Dr Andrew Stockley and Rosemary Dixon, life members and former Presidents of the Schools’ Debating Council were also guests of honour.

This year Internet NZ were the Council’s official partners for the Grand Final, and motion debated reflected this, being “This House would not prosecute people for filesharing entertainment media on the internet.” Jordan Carter, the Chief Executive of Internet NZ also addressed the audience.

Auckland Blue affirmed the motion and Wellington Black negated. After an excellent debate, Wellington Black were declared the winners in a 5-2 split decision.

After the Grand Final the members of the 2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating team were announced. The five member team is made up of James Rankin (Westlake Boys’ High School), Chris Ryan (Howick College), Ailidh Leslie (Wellington High School), Callum Lo (Lindisfarne College) and Maddy Nash (Sacred Heart College).

The best speaker of the Championships was James Rankin, with Ailidh Leslie being named captain of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team.

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council is very grateful to Russell McVeagh for its continued support of New Zealand Schools’ Debating, which allows these Championships to occur. We are also grateful to Victoria University of Wellington who hosted the Championships during the weekend.

Thanks too to everyone who contributed to making the Championships such a memorable weekend – adjudicators, coaches, chairpeople, and many other helpers.

Here are the full list of results from Nationals 2013

Winners: Wellington Black
Liam Dennis (Hutt International Boys’ School)
Ailidh Leslie (Wellington High School)
Maddy Nash (Sacred Heart College)
Coaches: Stephen Whittington & Hugh McCaffrey

Runners-Up: Auckland Blue
James Rankin (Westlake Boys’ High School)
Andrew Winstanley (Auckland Grammar School)
Kayla Polamalu (St Mary’s College)
Coaches: Paul Smith & James Penn

Highly Commended speakers:
Liam Dennis (Hutt International Boys’ School)
Jack Garden (Wellington College)
Jesse Medcalf (Westlake Boys’ High School)

Rosemary Dixon Cup for the Most Promising Speaker:
Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Buller High School)

Reserve to the 2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Kayla Polamalu (St Mary’s College)

2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
James Rankin (Westlake Boys’ High School)
Ailidh Leslie (Wellington High School)
Maddy Nash (Sacred Heart College)
Callum Lo (Lindisfarne College)
Chris Ryan (Howick College)

Andrew Stockley Cup for the Captain of the 2013 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Ailidh Leslie (Wellington High School)

Russell McVeagh Cup for the Best Speaker at the 2013 National Championships:
James Rankin (Westlake Boys’ High School)