2017 National Finals Report and Results

2017 National Finals Report and Results

The 2017 National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships were held from the 26th – 29th 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 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 establish separate academic and vocational senior secondary schools
  • This house would ban all products which contribute to unequal beauty standards (e.g. makeup, cosmetic surgery, waxing)
  • This house would aggressively wind down NZ’s dairy industry in the interests of the environment
  • This house would extend the rights of personhood to certain ‘higher’ animals (e.g., elephants, dolphins, chimpanzees)
  • This house believes the US should end the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia
  • This house would ban the publication of political opinion polls
  • This house would introduce a maximum wage

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

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 US government employees ‘resisting’ Trump.” The top two teams qualified for the Grand Final, with Auckland White (affirming) defeating Wellington Gold in a unanimous decision and Wellington Black defeating Auckland Blue in a 3-2 split decision.

The Grand Final was again hosted by Hon. Peter Dunne in the Legislative Council Chamber of Parliament. We were delighted to have Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy attend the Grand Final. The Official Party also included Tim Clarke from Russell McVeagh,

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 regrets the rise of the ‘gig economy’ (e.g., Uber, AirBnB)”

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

After the Grand Final the members of the 2017 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating team were announced. The five member team is made up of Samuel Penno (Hutt International Boys’ School), Piper Whitehead (Diocesan School for Girls), Geneva Roy (King’s College), Keir Robinson (Selwyn College) and Brooke Kinajil-Moran (Wellington Girls’ College).

The best speaker of the Championships was Sam Penno, with Geneva Roy 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 conveners Georgina Lomax-Sawyers and Amy Spittal.

Here are the full list of results from Nationals 2017

Winners: Wellington Black
Michael O’Brien (Wellington College)
Manraj Singh Rahi (Scots College)
Brooke Kinajil-Moran (Wellington Girls’ College)
Coaches: Kevin Moar & James Gavey

Runners-Up: Auckland White
Geneva Roy (King’s College, Auckland)
Karan Kalsi (Lynfield College)
Piper Whitehead (Diocesan School for Girls)
Coaches: Hamish Saunders & Lucy Harrison

Promising speakers:
Milly O’Brien (St Margaret’s College)
Nicholas Goodman (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Peter Lang (Scots College)

Highly Commended speakers:
Andre Castaing (Nayland College)
Lydia Joseph (Columba College)
Sabrina Swerdloff (Otago Girls’ High School)

Rosemary Dixon Cup for the Most Promising Speaker:
Sabrina Swerdloff (Otago Girls’ High School)

Reserves to the 2017 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Sam Baker (Westlake Boys High School)
Alister Hughes (Whanganui High School)
Michael O’Brien (Wellington College)

2017 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Samuel Penno (Hutt International Boys’ School)
Piper Whitehead (Auckland Diocesan School for Girls)
Geneva Roy (King’s College)
Keir Robinson (Selwyn College)
Brooke Kinajil-Moran (Wellington Girls’ College)

Andrew Stockley Cup for the Captain of the 2017 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Geneva Roy (King’s College)

Russell McVeagh Cup for the Best Speaker at the 2017 National Championships:
Samuel Penno (Hutt International Boys’ School)