The 2008 Otago/Southland Championships were held on Saturday 8 March at Logan Park High School. 16 teams made their way through four rounds and a semi-final before St. Hilda’s Collegiate 1 emerged victorious over Otago Boys High School 1.
In the first two rounds the teams debated both sides of the prepared motion ‘This House would ban the sale of spray paint to minors’. The students came up with very creative arguments about the merits (or otherwise) of tagging, and some fine debating talent was put on display. The following two rounds were limited preparation debates, and the teams had only half an hour to create cases on the motions ‘This House would raise the school leaving age to 18’ and “This house supports the execution of war criminals.’
After a break which was decided on win-points four teams emerged on top to proceed to the semi-finals. Waitaki Boys High School was unlucky to miss out after tying with three other teams on three wins.
The semifinal motion was ‘This House would make dairy farmers pay a pollution tax.’ James Hargest College were narrowly edged out by St. Hilda’s College 1 in a split decision, and John McGlashan College were defeated by Otago Boys High School 1. In the final St. Hilda’s College were successful in negating the motion ‘This house would abolish government subsidy of IVF.’
The tournament also saw the selection of the Otago/Southland Regional Debating Team to represent the region at Nationals later this year. Kim Hannah (St Hilda’s College) and Kurt Purdon (Otago Boys’ High School) managed to repeat their feats of 2007 and gain reselection to the team. Alec Dawson (Logan Park High School) was selected for the first time. Ben Winter (James Hargest College) was named as reserve. Extra congratulations are due to Kurt Purdon, who was also named best speaker of the entire tournament.
A very big thank-you to Logan Park High School for hosting the tournament, as well as to the coaches of the teams and the adjudicators.