Samuel Marsden Collegiate School hosted the 2005 Russell McVeagh Wellington Regional Schools’ Debating Championship held on the weekend of 7-8 May. The competition was well attended, with sixteen teams competing from around the Wellington region. In the first two rounds, teams debated both sides of the prepared topic: That it should be compulsory to vote in New Zealand General Elections. The first day of debating was rounded off with a one hour limited preparation debate on the topic: That the Black Caps should boycott Zimbabwe.
Teams returned on the Sunday for the fourth and final preliminary round, to debate that the government should fund the arts . With sixteen evenly matched teams, it was tricky to work out the break for the semifinals, with five teams impossible to squeeze into only four spots. Unfortunately, Queen Margaret College missed out, and Hutt Valley High School, Samuel Marsden Collegiate, St Mary’s College, and Wellington College went through to the semifinals.
The semi-final motion was, “That America is a global bully”, which produced two excellent and witty debates. Hutt Valley High defeated St Mary s (2-1) and Marsden won through over Wellington College. The topic for the final was: That we should use affirmative action to redress historical injustice. After a close debate, the hosts, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, were declared the winners after a unanimous verdict by the judging panel.
The Russell McVeagh Wellington Regional Schools Debating teams are:
Wellington Black: Sam Ward (Hutt Valley High School); Conrad Reyners (St Patrick’s College, Wellington); and Kathy Scott-Dowell (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School).
Wellington Blue: Heath Hutton (St Patrick s College, Wellington); Tim Duignan (St Patrick’s College, Wellington); and Ioana Gordon-Smith (St Mary’s College).
I should note also that Aysser Aljanabi (St Mary’s College) was originally named in one of the teams, but unfortunately had to pull out. She was replaced by Sam Ward.
The second reserve for the teams was Annabel Dewar (Chilton Saint James School).
Highly Commended awards were given to Emily Bruce (Wellington Girls College) and Lauren Simpkins (Queen Margaret College). The Most Promising speaker was Emily Bruce.
I was delighted to have such excellent judges throughout the weekend. Many thanks to Kevin Moar, Sayeqa Islam, Rosemary Dixon, Ranald Clouston, Emily Braunstein, Hamish Flanagan, Jesse Wilson, Gareth Richards and Joe Connell. Thanks also to Marsden for providing their facilities.
Wellington Regional Schools’ Convenor, 2007