Thanks to co-convenor Jodie O’Neill’s impeccable organizational skill, the 9 judges from Victoria University who were travelling from Wellington arrived on time to the 2013 Russell McVeagh Hawke’s Bay Regional Schools’ Debating Championships, held at Napier Boys’ High School over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of April.
For the first time in recent memory, the tournament was hosted in Napier, having been held at Karamu High or Lindisfarne College in Hastings in the years prior. The change of city was in part due to a desire to spread the hosting of the tournament around schools within the region. In future, the tournament alternate between Napier and Hastings schools each year.
16 teams participated in the regionals this year, which is part of a growing trend of more schools entering more teams within the region. Special mention goes to the schools from Gisborne who made the trip down, it is always good to see such a great turn out.
Students debated a diverse range of topics, showcasing their knowledge of the merits of charter schools, mandating fifty-fifty coverage of men’s’ and women’s’ sport, a parent’s right to override a doctor’s advice and the benefits or otherwise of preventing skilled migrants from developing countries from moving to NZ in the four break rounds. Four of the adjudicators participated in a show debate on the topic of whether the government should allow individuals to delete memories if the technology were ever invented. Two teams from Karamu High, one from Napier Boys’ and another from Lindisfarne debated the merits of media intrusion into the private lives of public figures in the semifinal before Lindisfarne 1 bested Karamu 1 in the final arguing for the proposition that prisoners facing life imprisonment should be able to opt for the death penalty.
The adjudicators all felt that the standard of debating in the region has risen markedly over the last few years. Teachers and students take on feedback from the university debaters with great enthusiasm. It would be fair to say that debating in the region is on the rise. This is thanks in no small part to the people who are devoting their time and effort to bettering HB debating. To Kimberley Robertson and Napier Boys’ High School, thank you for being such great hosts. To the teachers, coaches and parents who provided an audience, thank you for your commitment. Thanks must also go to the 7 adjudicators who gave up their time: Richard D’Ath (HB Team co-coach), Elise Munden (HB Development Squad Coach), Udayan Mukherjee, Olivia Hall, Philip Belesky, Xing-Yi Tan and Scott Fletcher. We look forward to next year’s tournament.
Cameron Price & Jodie O’Neill
Hawke’s Bay Regional Convenors