Nga Tawa beats traditional favourites
The Wellington Diocesan School for Girls (Nga Tawa) took out the Russell McVeagh Central North Island Schools’ Debating competition held at Wanganui Collegiate School on 20 May. It is the first time that a school other than Palmerston North Boys’ High or Wanganui Collegiate School had won the coveted Sir Michael Hardie Boys Cup in the history of the competition.
Twelve teams, travelling from as far as New Plymouth and Masterton competed in the competition, in what was one of the largest CNI championships in recent memory. Every team competed in four rounds of debating. Two prepared rounds addressed a motion about government funding for in-vitro fertilisation while limited preparation motions looked at troop withdrawal from Iraq and, particularly topical given the hosting in Wanganui, the banning of gangs.
Wanganui Collegiate School went unbeaten through the preliminary rounds, and were joined in the finals by Nga Tawa who had lost only to Collegiate. Wanganui High School narrowly missed out on the break having won three debates themselves. Nga Tawa defeated Wanganui Collegiate in the final on the topic “This House supports the learning of the Maori language in all schools” by a split decision.
The competition standard was high, and reflected a growing understanding of the expectations of Russell McVeagh style debating in the Central North Island, despite the fact that many of the teams only get to experience such competition once a year in the one day regional event.
Three speakers were selected to represent CNI at the National Finals later this year:
Hannah Dunlop (Nga Tawa)
Jane Pring (Nga Tawa)
Jennifer Savage (Wanganui Collegiate School)
The Reserves to the team are Jonathan Spicer (Wanganui High School) and Hamish Robertson (Palmerston North Boys’ High School).
Thanks to the adjudicators who travelled up from Wellington or from Palmerston North: Fiona McAlister, Christopher Bishop, Josh Cameron, Christopher Pearce, Julia Pearce, and Laura. Thanks also to Collegiate for hosting.
CNI Convenor 2007
Check out the photos here.