Canterbury Regional Championships Report 2017

Canterbury Regional Championships Report 2017

The Russell McVeagh Canterbury Regional Debating Championships were held on the 4th and 5th of March this year at the University of Canterbury and again showed the depth and breadth of debating talent in the region.

Eighteen teams from twelve schools from around the Canterbury region competed in four preliminary rounds held on Saturday and Sunday morning and debated the merits of compulsory Te Reo Māori in primary schools, privacy on the internet, consuming art produced by immoral artists and Western intervention in the war against ISIS.

At the end of the fourth round the four top teams advanced to the semi-finals which were held on Sunday afternoon. Christ’s College Black advanced undefeated on four wins while St Margaret’s College Green, St Andrew’s College and Cashmere High School advanced on three wins. Christchurch Boys’ High School and St Margaret’s College White also finished on three wins but missed out on the break on speaker points.

The motion debated by teams in the semi-finals was “this House believes that New Zealand should not sign free trade agreements with undemocratic states.” Christ’s College Black beat Cashmere High School while St Margaret’s College Green defeated St Andrew’s College.

The final was debated on the government actively discouraging consumerist lifestyles and in a close debate Christ’s College Black (Wills Wynn Thomas, Henry Seaton and Fawzan Sugarwala) again prevailed over runners-up St Margaret’s College (Aisha O’Malley, Milly O’Brien and Ruby Anderson).

Selectors and coaches for the Regional teams were impressed by the quality of debates and selected two teams to compete at the New Zealand Debating Championships in May. The speakers selected were:

Canterbury Black
Raphael Franks (Christchurch Boys’ High School)
Milly O’Brien (St Margaret’s College)
Fawzan Sugarwala (Christ’s College)

Coaches: Tim Bain and John-Brinsley Pirie

Canterbury Red

William Wynn Thomas (Christ’s College)
Henry Seaton (Christ’s College)
Madelaine Halliday (Rangi Ruru Girls’ School)

Coaches: Bill Dieckermann and Connor Seddon

Meg Longley (St Andrew’s College)
Callum Stewart (St Andrew’s College)

Several speaker prizes were awarded to individual debaters who excelled throughout the tournament. Prizes were generously donated by Megan Woods MP and AMI Insurance.

Best Speaker of the Tournament
William Wynn Thomas (Christ’s College)

Best Style

Anaru Shadbolt (St Thomas of Canterbury College)

Most Promising Speaker

Charlotte Boyle (Cashmere High School)

Promising Speakers
Megan Blackwood (St Andrew’s College)
Meg Longley (St Andrew’s College)
Callum Stewart (St Andrew’s College)
Lily van Keulen (Cashmere High School)
Jess Tater (Cashmere High School)
Nickol Crews (St Bede’s College)
Aisha O’Malley (St Margaret’s College)
Ruby Anderson (St Margaret’s College)

Also awarded is the trophy for most promising team which goes to a team who have shown great promise at their first regionals. This year the trophy went to Cashmere High School which broke in fourth place and consisted entirely of year 11 speakers.

A huge thank to Bill Dieckermann who convened the tournament, Jo Hayes MP and Megan Woods MP for coming along to support the tournament, AMI Insurance who provided prizes and funding for the regional teams and all the adjudicators, parents and teachers that made the tournament possible.