The 2009 Russell McVeagh Hawke’s Bay Regional Debating Championships were held over the weekend of 2/3 May at Lindisfarne College. Campion College were victorious, winning for the first time since 2003 and taking the Bioethics Cup up to Gisborne.
Ten teams from eight schools competed in the tournament making it the largest regionals in memory, and the enthusiasm from all the debaters and coaches bodes particularly well for the future of the region.
Debates began on Saturday afternoon with schools arguing across rounds 1 and 2 about the merits of a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, in a prepared debate. Round three saw teams discussing whether or not smoking should be banned. On Sunday morning in the final preliminary round, teams debated whether celebrities convicted of crimes should face harsher sentences.
From there, four teams progressed to the semi-finals. Unbeaten in first place were last year’s champions, Napier Boys’ High School, and in second and third having lost just won one debate were Campion College and Hastings Girls’ High School B. There were four teams tied for the final spot in the semis but progressing on the strength of their draw was Karamu High School.
In the semi-finals, on the motion “This House would make insulting religion a crime”, Karamu defeated Napier Boys’ (2-1) and Campion won through over Hastings (3-0). The Grand FInal was on the motion, “This House believes the government should bail out failing industries”, and in a high quality and entertaining debate, Campion prevailed in a 2-1 decision, taking out the Bioethics Council Trophy.
Winners: Campion College (Daniel Coombes, Jack Watling, Josh Savage)
Runners-Up: Karamu High School (Sonya Clark, Cameron Browne, Alexandra Morris)
Promising Speakers: Colin Chisholm (Lindisfarne A), Amy Harrison (Hastings Girls’ High School B)
Most Promising Speaker: Jack Watling (Campion College)
Highly Commended Speakers: Sarah Hawkins (Napier Girls’ High School), Callum Rose (Napier Boys’ High School)
2nd Reserve to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Team: Hugh McHugh (Lindisfarne A)
1st Reserve to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Team: Ellen Woods (Hastings Girls’ High School B)
2009 Hawke’s Bay Regional Team (pictured below)
Sonya Clark (Karamu High School)
Cameron Price (Napier Boys’ High School)
Alexandra Morris (Karamu High School)
Best Speaker at the Hawke’s Bay Regionals: Cameron Price (Napier Boys’ High School)
A huge thanks must go to Lindisfarne College and particularly Ian Findlay for his tireless work in hosting the weekend. Thanks also to the excellent adjudicators who donated their weekend: Stephen Whittington, Paul Smith, Holly Jenkins, Lauren Brazier and Molly Woods.
The immense enthusiasm on the part of the competitors made the weekend a pleasure for all involved and is a great sign for the development of debating in the region. See you next year!
Udayan Mukherjee and Tom Mathews
Hawke’s Bay Regional Convenors 2009