Parliamentary Shield 2009

The Premier Debating competition for the Parliamentary Shield debating was held last weekend at Victoria University, with eight teams from around Wellington competing for the famed Shield.

On the Saturday three preliminary rounds were held. Each debate was a limited preparation debate with the topics selected from a group of three for each round, shown below.

After three rounds, four teams progressed to the semi-finals. The break order as announced at the Saturday night tournament dinner was as follows:

1. Team Unclear (Jonathan Orpin, Stephen Whittington, Gareth Richards)
2. Old Soc(k) (Matt Cuthell, Hilary Pearse, Bryn Gandy, Neil Miller)
3. Francis Urquhart (Polly Higbee, Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna, Joe Connell, Hugh McCaffrey, Michael Mabbett)
4. Can you take Ihaia (Sarah Wilson, Ihaia Tichborne, Nigel Smith)

The semi-finals were held on Sunday morning at the Victoria University law school. The first semi-final was between Old Soc(k) and Francis Urquhart on the motion “This House would abolish the concept of marriage” with Francis Urquhart affirming the motion. They eventually prevailed in a tight 2-1 decision.

The second semi-final between Team Unclear and Can you take Ihaia saw the teams debating “This House would abolish term limits on the US Presidency” with Can you take Ihaia affirming. Eventually Team Unclear went through on a 3-0 decision.

The Grand Final for the Parliamentary Shield was held on late Sunday afternoon at the Victoria Law School. Francis Urquhart affirmed the topic “This House believes all pornography is immoral” in front of a good crowd. After a tight and heated debate which saw a split panel, Ranald Clouston (chair of the adjudication panel) declared Team Unclear the winners of the 2009 Parliamentary Shield.

Congratulations to Jonathan Orpin, Stephen Whittington, and Gareth Richards, pictured below.


The winner of the Ben O’Connor Plate for the Best Speaker in the Grand Final was Stephen Whittington, pictured below.


Thank you to all who made the tournament happen, particularly Ranald Clouston who judged the entire weekend.

Round 1: New Zealand Politics

This House would return to FPP
This House supports dedicated Maori seats on the Auckland Supercity
This House supports a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Round 2: Aghanistan

This House would legalise the opium trade in Afghanistan
This House believes New Zealand should send the SAS to Afghanistan

Round 3: The Environment

This House supports individual carbon quotas
This House likes its environmentalists radical
This House would let endangered species die

Semi-final 1: Marriage

This House would abolish the concept of marriage
This House believes the gay rights movement should reject gay marriage
This House would allow couples to opt into having their marriage governed by sharia law

Semi-final 2: The USA

This House supports socialised medicine
This House believes abortion rights should be determined by the states, not the courts
This House would abolish term limits on the US Presidency

Grand Final: Free Speech

This House would criminalise Holocaust denial
This House believes censors should take into account artistic merit
This House believes all pornography is immoral

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