The award of Best Speaker is the most prestigious prize presented at the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships. From 1988-2005 the Cup was known as the Consultus Cup, after an early sponsor of the Championships. The Cup was replaced and renamed in 2005 after Russell McVeagh, in recognition of their strong support of schools debating. Below is a list of all the previous winners:

The Russell McVeagh Cup
For the Best Speaker at the National Finals
New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships

1988: Aaron Pedersen, Wanganui Collegiate School
1989: Simon Ladd, Auckland Grammar School
1990: Richard Suhr, St Patrick’s College (Wellington)
1991: Alexandra Gillespie, Queen Margaret College; Richard Suhr, St Patrick’s College (Wellington)
1992: Sacha Judd, Takapuna Grammar School
1993: Ryan Orange, Palmerston North High School; Julianne Platt, Rangitoto College
1994: Hayden Ryan, St Bede’s College
1995: Catherine Adams, Christchurch Girls’ High School
1996: Anna Livesey, Wellington High School
1997: Anna Livesey, Wellington Girls’ College
1998: Chelsea Payne, Chilton St James School
1999: Jesse Wilson, Auckland Grammar School
2000: Paul Paterson, St Kentigern College
2001: Jonathan Orpin, King’s College
2002: Joe Connell, Wanganui Collegiate School
2003: Laura Fraser, James Hargest High School
2004: Stephen Whittington, Wellington College
2005: Kathryn Scott-Dowell, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2006: Samuel Coldicutt, Kristin School
2007: Maria English, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2008: Maria English, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2009: Maria English, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2010: Kieran Bunn, Logan Park High School
2011: Thomas Simpson, Hamilton Boys’ High School
2012: Thomas Simpson, Hamilton Boys’ High School
2013: James Rankin, Westlake Boys’ High School
2014: Lucy Ellingham (Kerikeri High School)