The 2005 Russell McVeagh Central North Island Regional Schools’ Debating Championships were held at Palmerston North Boys (PNBHS) on Saturday 14th May. In the largest competition for several years, ten teams battled fiercely for the title. With 60% of teams traveling from Marton, Wanganui and New Plymouth, many thanks must be given to the coaches and students for their commitment and enthusiasm.
After debating the merits of compulsory voting, the teams had to debate (with limited preparation) the ethical and practical considerations of the NZ Cricket team touring Zimbabwe, and if the UN Security Council needs reform.
Competition to break to the semi finals was intense, and as with every good event a Cinderella story unfolded throughout the day. Hawera High School have not attended these championships for a long time – and were encouraged to do so during the recent NZSDC tour of schools in the New Plymouth region. On the back of powerful and consistent speaking by their team of Tauke, Shihan and Caleb, Hawera High School won through past two times champion and historical debating heavy weights Wanganui Collegiate, to a place in the semi finals. Other semi finalists were PNBHS Orange and finalists PNBHS Pink and PNGHS Blue.
In the final, the adjudication panel was unanimous in their decision, that through powerful speaking, excellent analysis and wit, the PNBHS team had proven that NZ should embrace Nuclear Power.
As a large region it is critical to identify young debating talent – with Promising Speaker Awards given to Kayne Dunlop (PNBHS), Hannah Bain (New Plymouth Girls), Caleb Wall (Hawera), Qi-Shan Lim (PNBHS) and Most Promising Speaker to Craig Riddell (Wanganui Collegiate). We were very pleased to see the reserve of the 2004 CNI team – Guy Carter (Wanganui Collegiate) – named Speaker of the Tournament.
Congratulations must go to all the CNI Team members. The team is Yogesh Patel (PNBHS), Craig Riddell (Wanganui Collegiate) and Guy Carter (Wanganui Collegiate), with reserves Lucy Forgie (PNGHS) and Qi-Shan Lim (PNBHS).