Chilton win Junior Premier Grade

The Junior Premier Grade Grand Final for 2009 was held on Tuesday 27 October, with Chilton Saint James School defeating Wellington College to win the W G T Wiggs Trophy.

The Chilton team of Kerry McNulty, Jenna Thompson and Gabrielle You beat Wellington College’s Thomas Leggat, Edward Foley and Chris Smol on the topic “This House would abolish the minimum wage” by a 3-0 margin. Wellington College affirmed the motion and Chilton negated.

Gabrielle Young from Chilton was named the best speaker of the Grand Final. Congratulations and thanks also go to the two coaches – Marisa Gale from Chilton and Thomas Mitchell from Wellington College, both of whom have given up a huge amount of time to coach their teams through the five preliminary and four knockout rounds of debating.

The adjudication panel for the final comprised Victoria Papadopoulos (Scots College), Halina McDonald (St Patrick’s College, Wellington) and Maria Hubbard (St Catherine’s College).

This is the first time Chilton has won the grade since 1995 – when Kathy Ryan, the current grade convenor, was coaching. Interestingly Halina McDonald, who judged the final, was a member of the winning St Cath’s team that won in 1974, the first year the cup was presented!

Nga Tawa win Senior Premier B Grade

The Premier B Grade Grand Final for 2009 was held at the Turnbull House in downtown Wellington and saw Nga Tawa Diocesan School,  in only their second year competing in WSU competitions, win the prestigious Fred McComish Trophy.

The Premier B grade this year was the largest in recent memory, with 22 teams competing for the trophy from around Wellington and all the way up to Marton.

The Nga Tawa team of Charlotte Legge, Brooke Cox, and Megan Burney beat Samuel Marsden’s Olivia Norling, Stephanie Dawson, and Stephanie van Geete on the topic “This House believes that parents have a right to smack their children”. Marsden affirmed the motion and Nga Tawa  negated.

Nga Tawa’s Megan Burney was named the best speaker of the Grand Final. All six speakers are all to be congratulated for an exceptional debate. Congratulations and thanks also go to the two coaches – John Worthington from Nga Tawa and Marg Adeane from Marsden, both of whom have given up a huge amount of time to coach their teams through the five preliminary and four knockout rounds of debating.

The entire Nga Tawa team are in year 12, and so their presence in Prem A next year will be much anticipated.

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

Scots win Premier A Grade 2009

Scots College emerged the victors of the 2009 Senior Premier A Grade after defeating Chilton Saint James School in a spirited debate at the Wellington City Council Chamber last night.

Scots thus won the Henning Cup for the second time in its 39 year history.

The Scots team consisted of Henry Hillind, Nick Cross, and James Gavey. They successfully affirmed the motion “That New Zealand should become a republic” against the Chilton team of Amy Wilson, Jodie O’Neill, and Jasmin Moran.

Nick Cross of Scots College won the Suffrage Cup for the best speaker in the Grand Final.

Congrats to both teams for making it to the Final and producing an excellent debate for a large audience.

The winning Scots team is pictured below, with their coach.


Junior Certificate Grade Semi-final results; Grand Final Draw

Here are the results from the Junior Certificate Grade semi-finals held last week.

Paraparaumu College 1 v Hutt International Boys’ School
Paraparaumu College 2 v Sacred Heart College 2

The Grand Final will therefore be between Sacred Heart College 2 v Hutt International Boys’ School on 28 October. Time and venue TBA.

The topic is: That New Zealand should become a republic.

Good luck to both teams and congratulations for making it this far.

Tawa College win Senior Certificate Grade for 2009

Tawa College 3 defeated Wellington East Girls’ College 1 in the Grand Final of the Senior Certificate Grade, held last night at Hutt International Boys’ School.

Congrats to Tawa, who retain the Rennie Cup for 2009. Past winners can be found here.

More details, including the names of the winning team, to come.

Clouston/Miller win Vic Shield 2009

Last night the Victoria Sheld impromptu debating tournament was held at Victoria University. Eight highly competitive teams started the tournament, which ran on a knock-out basis.

The semi-finals featured veterans Ranald Clouston and Neil Miller against up-and-coming Vic debaters Udayan Mukherjee and Paul Smith, with Clouston and Miller prevailing in a 2-1 decision, arguing that neo-liberalism has had its day. In the other debate Richard D’Ath and Kathy Scott-Dowell defeated Seb Templeton and Ella Edginton, arguing that privatisation is not the answer.

The Grand Final was an interesting and close debate on whether or not people should eat meat. In the end the affirmative arguments about the unsustainability of modern agriculture, the growing world food shortage, and the immorality of eating animals won the day and Clouston and Miller were declared the victors in a 4-1 split decision.

Thanks to the adjudicators of the evening: Jenna Raeburn, Yogesh Patel, and Matt Cuthell and to everyone for entering.

Stockley Cup 2009 Results

This evening the Stockley Cup public speaking competition was held at Turnbull House, with junior students competing for the Dunsheath Cup and senior students for the Stockley Cup. The competition was adjudicated by Rosemary Dixon (life member of the WSU) and David Dewar, a former champion schools debater.

In the junior section the following prizes were awarded

3rd equal: Stephen Lines (Hutt International Boys’ School)
3rd equal: Jessica Paliaret (Queen Margaret College)
2nd: Anna Bergen (St Mary’s College)
1st: Lauren Holloway (St Catherine’s College)

In the senior section the winner was Ruth Corkill (Queen Margaret College).

Congrats to all who entered, particularly the prize winners.

Junior Certificate Grade Quarter-final Results; Semi-finals Draw

Here are the results from the Junior Certificate quarter-finals, held on Wednesday 26 August.

Topic: That our heroes are hollow

Paraparaumu College 1 v St Oran’s College 1
St Mary’s College 1 v Paraparaumu College 2
Sacred Heart College 2 v Wellington College 1
Hutt International Boys’ School v St Patrick’s College, Silverstream 2

The semi-final draw is as follows:

Paraparaumu College 1 v Hutt International Boys’ School
Paraparaumu College 2 v Sacred Heart College 2