2012 Championships Report/Results

2012 Championships Report/Results 2012-08-14T12:41:41+00:00

Waikato retains National title

The 2012 National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships were held from 10 to 13 May August 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.

For the first time, teams competed in seven (rather than five) 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 make te reo Maori a compulsory subject in all New Zealand schools
  • This House would make beneficiaries use a payment card which could only be used for essential items
  • This House believes all states should have the right to develop nuclear weapons
  • This House believes punishment should never be an aim of the justice system
  • This House would re-elect Barack Obama
  • This House would end all funding for high performance sport
  • This House believes politicians should lead, not follow, public opinion

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

On Monday morning the semi-finals were held at Turnbull House, a historic building in the Wellington CBD. The motion for the semi-finals was: “This House would privatise all state-owned enterprises”. The top two teams qualified for the Grand Final, with Waikato (negating) defeating Auckland White in a 5-0 decision and Wellington Black (also negating) pipping CNI in a 3-2 decision.

The Grand Final was again hosted by Hon. Peter Dunne in the Legislative Council Chamber of Parliament, before distinguished guests His Excellency the Right Honourable Lieutenant-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General, Lady Mateparae, Tim Clarke (Partner at Russell McVeagh) Jan Blair (HR Coach at Russell McVeagh) and an audience of several hundred school students. Dr Andrew Stockley, a life member of the Schools’ Debating Council and former President of the Council was also a guest of honour.

The final debate was very memorable and of great quality. The topic, which the teams had only an hour to prepare, was “That people should have to pass a political literacy test to be able to vote”, with Wellington Black affirming and Waikato negating. After a very close debate, the Waikato team of Christopher Jury, Thomas Simpson, and Kayla Grant were declared the winners in a 6-1 split decision.

Waikato therefore successfully defended the title won in 2011. It is the first time in the 25 year history of the Championships that exactly the same students have won the Championships two years in a row.

After the Grand Final the members of the 2012 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating team were announced. The five member team is made up of James Penn (Captain, Wanganui High School), Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys’ High School), Jemima Lomax-Sawyers (St Mary’s College, Wellington), Edward Foley (Wellington College) and Ashley Varney (King’s College). The team will compete at the 2013 World Schools’ Debating Championships in Turkey.

Thomas Simpson from Hamilton Boys’ won the best speaker cup for the second year in a row.

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 2012.

Winners: Waikato
Christopher Jury (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Kayla Grant (Hillcrest High School)
Coaches: Josh Baxter & Holly Jenkins

Runners-Up: Wellington Black
Oscar Shaw (Wellington College)
Edward Foley (Wellington College)
Jemima Lomax-Sawyers (St Mary’s College, Wellington)
Coaches: Stephen Whittington & Duncan McLachlan

Highly Commended speakers:
Oscar Shaw (Wellington College)
Kayla Polamalu (St Mary’s College, Auckland)
Boyd Becker (Greymouth High School)

Rosemary Dixon Cup for the Most Promising Speaker:
Callum Lo (Lindisfarne College)

Reserve to the 2012 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
Callum Lo (Lindisfarne College)

2012 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
James Penn (Wanganui High School)
Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Jemima Lomax-Sawyers (St Mary’s College, Wellington)
Edward Foley (Wellington College)
Ashley Varney (King’s College)

Andrew Stockley Cup for the Captain of the 2012 Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team:
James Penn (Wanganui High School)

Russell McVeagh Cup for the Best Speaker at the 2012 National Championships:
Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys’ High School)