Hastings Girls’ win first Hawke’s Bay title
This year’s Russell McVeagh Hawke’s Bay Regional Debating Championships were held over the 12 and 13th of May, hosted by Karamu High School. There were 9 teams from 7 schools entered, along with a swing team made up of enthusiastic debaters who had originally come just to watch their peers. The weekend is a chance for Hawke’s Bay debaters to gain some exposure to high-level debating, to argue motions that they possibly haven’t before and to receive feedback from university level adjudicators, so it was very pleasing to see the amount of commitment and enthusiasm all of the students displayed.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a debate on the motion that ‘This House would ban the sale of New Zealand land to foreigners’. The adjudicators were particularly impressed at the high calibre of debating in the first round; it was clear that the competitors had done their research. Next up was a limited preparation round on performance enhancing drugs in sport, followed by the final debate of the day on the legalisation of euthanasia. These are all complex topics and the students dealt with them in an exceptionally mature and thoughtful way.
The following day, the break to the semi finals was announced: Lindisfarne A, Campion, Hastings Girls’ and Karamu High all had the challenge of debating the topical motion that ‘This House would make the receipt of long-term benefits conditional on the implantation of long acting contraceptives.’ Again, this is a sensitive issue and one that was dealt with well, most notably by Hastings’ Girls and Karamu High who both took the win and advanced to the final.
While Hastings Girls’ and Karamu prepared for their final, the other competitors and their coaches were treated to an Easters-styled show debate on the motion that ‘This house believes the government should use subliminal messaging to influence the behaviours of its citizens’. This was followed by a short discussion on the basics of case making as well as some tips for school teachers on coaching methods.
By this time, everyone was looking forward to seeing the final and it proved to be a hotly contested one. ‘This house believes vegetarianism is good’ was the classic motion chosen for the final and while both teams did well in arguing the relative merits of herbivores as compared to carnivores, only one team could win. For the first time in the long and prestigious 8 year history of the championships, Hastings Girls’ came out as the victors.
Winning team from Hastings Girls’
Most Promising: Jack Young
Reserve to the Hawke’s Bay Debating Team: Luke Reisima (Lindisfarne College)
Hawke’s Bay Schools’ Debating Team:
Raphael van Workum
Best Speaker: Raphael van Workum
First and foremost thanks must go to Karamu for hosting the event and in particular to Ms Rebecca Lagas who organised rooms, liaised with schools and convenors, made sure therewere hot drinks and snacks and all the other things that allowed for the smooth running of the tournament.
Thanks also go to the adjudicators: Richard D’Ath (co-coach of Hawke’s Bay this year), Udayan Mukherjee (representative of the council and tab director), Campbell Herbert and Olivia Hall. To give up a weekend to help with regional debating is a huge ask and it is hugely appreciated, not only by the convenors but also by the students. A number of parents, teachers and students all commented on the high calibre of the judges’ feedback and this can only lead to a higher standard within Hawke’s Bay. Finally, thanks goes to the students who also devoted their weekend to debating, despite being busy with sports, internals and school balls.
Jodie O’Neill and Cameron Price