Since its establishment in 1988, the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council has worked to promote debating in secondary schools around the country.

The Council is responsible for the organisation of twelve Regional Championships that are held throughout New Zealand each year.

Teams are selected at each tournament to represent each region at the National Finals of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating National Championships held annually in Wellington.

At the New Zealand Schools’ Debating National Championships, the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team is selected to represent New Zealand at the World Schools Debating Championships. New Zealand has a proud record at “Worlds”, having won the tournament four times since 1988 (in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2009).

Our charitable organisation

The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council


Students participating

every year





Teams compete

at Nationals

_NZSDC 2021_1934

Our Patron

The Honourable Sir Stephen Kós KNZM KC, Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand

Executive Officers



Liam Silverwood


1b207879-4d9d-4a6b-9715-6b214528c454 3

Vice President

 Lucy Jessep



Executive Officers

Abby Bowmar and Rebecca Elder

Non-Executive Officers

Tony Huang, Julia Randerson, Sumner Hancock, and Zachary Wong

Regional Convenors

Northland | Joe Howells and Nicolas Powell

Auckland | Judy Fong and Robert Donohoe

Counties Manukau | Gabriel Toreja and Mannat Kaur

Waikato | Robert Hoskins and Tiana Mayo

Bay of Plenty | Ella Mitchell, Travis Dunningham, Cooper Stewart

Central North lsland | Sophie Crozier and Ollie Gillespie

Hawke’s Bay | Izzy Fraser

Wellington | Ethan Foster and Cara Homewood

Kahurangi / Marlborough | Lucy Jessep

Canterbury | Ned Brougham and Thomas Kamo

Otago |  Samuel Blackwood and Annabel Rhodes

Southland | Lara Seaton and Alice McIntosh

Life Members

Rosemary Dixon
Alexandra Gillespie
Anna Livesey
Claire Ryan
Hayden Ryan
Dr. Andrew Stockley
Jeremy Johnson
Tim Stephens
Christopher Bishop
Josh Baxter
Sam O'Grady

Participants, Nationals 2018
Speaker at the finals of Nationals 2021

History of the Council

Neither the National nor Regional Championships would occur without the effort of the many volunteers who have given freely of their time to organise debating in New Zealand since 1988. For information on previous Councils, and on those who have convened Regional Championships in the past, please follow the links to the right.