The Russell McVeagh Waikato Regional Debating Competition was held on the the 11th of March at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. Teams travelled from across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region to attend, including teams from Hamilton, Tauranga, Thames, Cambridge, Morrinsville and Whakatane.

A record 23 teams, consisting of 75 students were on hand to hear Tim Macindoe, MP for Hamilton West open the tournament. Tim highlighted the value of students being able to speak persuasively as a valuable skill for succeeding in life.

All judges in attendance felt that this year’s tournament was of an excellent quality, with three preliminary rounds on topics such as raising taxes on residential property and legalising euthanasia. Following these three debates, four schools progressed to the semi-finals: Hamilton Boys’ High School, Hillcrest High School, St John’s College and Sacred Heart Girls’ College.

Hamilton Boys’ High School and St John’s College were the two successful teams who progressed onto the final producing an entertaining and lively debate on the motion that “this house believes that governments should actively discourage consumerist lifestyles.” Congratulations to Hamilton Boys for winning the debate and the competition overall, for the third year running.

We are very grateful to Minister and MP for Hamilton East, Hon David Bennett along with Tim Macindoe who assisted in the presentation of prizes and awards to students.

A big thank you to all the judges, teachers and parents who gave up their day for the tournament, and to the University of Waikato who generously provided a venue.

Congratulations to the following students who received awards:

Winners – Hamilton Boys’ High School:
Timothy Ng
Nicholas Goodman
Sameer Mandhan

Runners Up – St John’s College:
Dominic Beaton
Jacob Flanagan
Tim Manning

Highly Commended Speakers:
Timothy Ng (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Jonah Flanke (Hillcrest High School)
Jacob Flanagan (St John’s College)

Reserves to the Waikato Regional Team:
William Robertson (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Nisha Novell (Hillcrest High School)

Members of the Waikato Regional Team:
Day-eth Smit (Waikato Diocesan School for Girls)
Nicholas Goodman (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Dominic Beaton (St John’s College)

Best Style:
Nicholas Goodman (Hamilton Boys’ High School)

Most Promising Speaker:
Sameer Mandhan (Hamilton Boys’ High School)

Best Speaker:
Nicholas Goodman (Hamilton Boys’ High School)