Nationals Report for 2015

Nationals Report for 2015

The 2015 National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships were held from the 22nd-25th of May at Victoria University of Wellington.

Twelve regional teams from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Central North Island, Wellington, Kahurangi-Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago-Southland took part in the 2015 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 alternative medicines

– This house supports the establishment of exclusive schools for LGBT students

– This house believes Obama has betrayed the legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize

– This house regrets the commercialisation of indigenous art

– This house would not prosecute individuals for minor crimes committed during protests of deaths of minorities at the hands of police officers

– This house would televise all major criminal trials

– This house believes that the income tax of individuals should be based on the wealth of their parents

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

On Monday morning the semi-finals were held at Wellington Girls College and Wellington High School. The motion for the semi-finals was: “This house supports the partition of Iraq into three states: one for each of the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish peoples” The top two teams qualified for the Grand Final, with Auckland White (affirming) defeating Central North Island in a 3-2 decision  and Wellington Black (affirming) defeating Auckland Blue by 4-1.

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 . The judges for the final also included recently elected MP and former NZSDC President Chris Bishop. The motion for the final was that “This house believes that socially progressive movements in democratic countries should seek social change through the judiciary rather than the legislature.”, a highly topical subject given that arguments before the High Court in Wellington in the Lecretia Seales case were beginning on the same day.

Wellington Black affirmed the motion and Auckland White negated. After an excellent debate, Wellington Black were declared the winners in a 5-0 decision.

After the Grand Final the members of the 2015 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating team were announced. The five member team is made up of Shakked Noy (Wellington High School), Peter McKenzie (Scots College), Emily Williams (Columba College), Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Buller High School) and Rhaz Solomon (Wanganui High School)

The best speaker of the Championships was Shakked Noy, with Georgina Lomax-Sawyers 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 2015

Winners: Wellington Black

Peter McKenzie (Scots College)
Shakked Noy (Wellington High School)
Sarah Mackenzie (Kapiti College)
Coaches: Nick Gavey & Richard D’Ath

Runners-Up: Auckland White

Liam Rawlings (Westlake Boys’ High School)
Karan Kalsi (Lynfield College)
Sookyung Choi (St Cuthbert’s College)
Coaches: James Penn & Edward Foley

Highly Commended speakers:

Meg Murray (Kerikeri High School)
Rachel Worthington (St Kentigern College)
Francesca Saavedra (Hamilton Girls’ High School)
Sookyung Choi (St Cuthbert’s College)

Rosemary Dixon Cup for the Most Promising Speaker:

Gabrielle Penn (Wanganui High School)

Reserves to the 2015 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:

Gabrielle Penn (Wanganui High School)
Sarah Mackenzie (Kapiti College)

2015 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:

Shakked Noy (Wellington High School)
Peter McKenzie (Scots College)
Emily Williams (Columba College)
Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Buller High School)
Rhaz Solomon (Wanganui High School)

Andrew Stockley Cup for the Captain of the 2015 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:

Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Buller High School)

Russell McVeagh Cup for the Best Speaker at the 2015 National Championships:

Shakked Noy (Wellington High School)