2007 saw Kerikeri defend its impressive five year winning-streak in the Russell McVeagh Northland Schools’ Debating Championships held at Pompallier College.
It was very encouraging, though, to see a stronger showing from Whangarei schools, with Pompallier narrowly loosing the final, and with strong individual and team performances from Whangarei Girls, Whangarei Boys and Bream Bay.
Eight teams competed in the two day event. The new two day format allowed for an extended competition, with four preliminary rounds on the Saturday, and semis and finals on the Sunday morning. Most of the speakers had benefited from the Northland Schools Debating Competition which was held in the months leading up to the Russell McVeagh Championships. This will hopefully continue in future years, ensuring that Northland students have the opportunity to practice and improve their debating skills throughout the year.
Particular thanks must go to Claire Ryan, Jeremy Johnson and the many adjudicators from the Auckland University Debating Society which made countless trips to Whangarei and Kerikeri to adjudicate schools debates in 2007. Many thanks also to NZSDC for financially supporting this regional development initiative. Finally, a big thank you to Jackie Williams and Pompallier College who not only hosted the Russell McVeagh Championships, but also provided accommodation for the adjudicators in the renowned Pompallier Lodge.
The Northland team for 2007 is:
David Adams (Pompallier College)
Olivia Marti (Kerikeri High)
Corinne Marti (Kerikeri High)
Northland Convenor, 2007