Connell/Mukherjee win Vic Shield 2013

Last night the WSU held the Victoria Shield impromptu debating competition for 2013 at Wellington High School.

The winners were Joe Connell and Udayan Mukherjee, who defeated Victoria University (Asher Emanuel and Jodie O’Neill) in the Grand Final in a 4-1 decision.

The topics for each round are below.

Round One:

  • That major sports should be broadcast free to air
  • That we should ban alcohol sponsorship of sport in NZ

Round Two:

  • That gay pride marches’ (like the Hero parade) time has passed
  • This House would mandate the use of condoms in pornography

Round Three:

  • That the Treaty settlement process has failed urban Maori
  • That there should be a lower minimum wage for Maori and other minorities

Grand Final:

  • That on the 10 year anniversary of the Iraq War, this House regrets the War
  • That the West should aggressively fund de-Stalinisation programs in Russia run by NGOs.

Thanks to all who took part.

Victoria Shield 2011

Yesterday the WSU held its annual impromptu debating tournament, open to all to enter. Thanks to Samuel Marsden for providing the venue for the day.

Nine teams entered the competition. It was particularly pleasing to see some school students enter, as well as some people from Auckland. The standard of debating was very high, with former winners of the Parliamentary Shield as well as multiple winners of the university impromptu tournament (Easters) all participating.

There were four rounds of debates, followed by semi-finals and the Grand Final. The topics are listed below.

The semi-finalists (in order) were Seb Templeton & Richard D’Ath, Paul Smith & Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna, Udayan Mukherjee & Ella Edginton, and Joe Connell & Kevin Moar.

In the semis, Seb and Richard defeated Joe and Kevin, and Udayan and Ella defeated Paul and Clodagh.

The Grand Final was an excellent debate on the motion “That we should return cultural treasures to their place of origin”. The three judges (Stephen Whittington, Christopher Bishop and Daniel Wilson) were unanimous in awarding the debate to the affirmative team of Udayan Mukherjee and Ella Edginton, who thus won the Victoria Shield for the first time.

Thanks to the adjudicators: Stephen Whittington, Christopher Bishop, Polly Higbee, Daniel Wilson and Tom Mathews.


Round One

  • That we should recriminalise prostitution
  • That heterosexual couples should get Civil Unions in solidarity with homosexual couples

Round Two

  • That we support price gouging in response to natural disasters
  • That we support the bailout of AMI

Round Three

  • That ultra fast broadband is an ultra fast boondoggle
  • That we should ban the publication of opinion polls during election campaigns

Round Four

  • That the West should put troops on the ground in Libya
  • That we support a foreign policy of non-interventionism


  • That we support ticket scalping
  • This House would allow politicians to make specific election promises legally binding in the event of victory


  • This House would return cultural treasures to their place of origin
  • This House would force purchasers of art to pay a royalty to the original creator

Vic Shield 2011

On Saturday 16 April, the Wellington Speaking Union will be holding Victoria Shield, an impromptu debating competition. It is run in the Easters style, and is open to all to enter. Entry is free. Past winners can be found here.
There will be four rounds, semis, and a final.  It will not be knock out as in previous years, but instead will be power-paired.  We are hoping to get a very strong adjudication team, and there has even been some interest from outside Wellington.
Unfortunately at this point we cannot confirm where it will be held. We can confirm that it will start at 10 AM. After the final, there will be likely be a BYO dinner arranged.
Please email Stephen Whittington by Wednesday 13th April if you are interested in debating or adjudicating.  For those interested in debating, please email your partner’s name as well.

Vic Shield 2010

The Victoria Shield (formerly known as Management Cup) impromptu debating tournament was held at Victoria University last night, with eleven teams entering.

The winners of the competition were Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna and Paul Smith, who defeated Ihaia Tichborne and Peter McCaffrey in the Grand Final, affirming the topic “That there should be a minimum price on alcohol”.

Beaten semi-finalists were Seb Templeton, Richard D’Ath, Christopher Bishop and Asher Emanuel.

Thanks to Stephen Whittington for organising the night, and also to the adjudicators for their time.

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.

Victoria Shield 2009

The Victoria Shield is an impromptu debating competition open to anyone in Wellington. It is organised by the Wellington Speaking Union and has been run since 1969. For a list of past winners, see
The tournament is run in Easters style (teams of two, a coin toss to determine topic and sides and then 3 minutes to prepare). Speaking times are 4-6 minutes with 2-3 minute summaries.
This year the tournament will be held on Thursday 17 September in the Student Union Building at Victoria University of Wellington (Kelburn campus) from 6.30pm. It is a knock-out tournament, so once you lose, you are out. All the debates take place on the same evening. The winners receive, appropriately, the Victoria Shield.
To enter, please email [email protected] by Tuesday 15 September at 5pm. There is a team cap of 16. Teams will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. There is no cost to enter.
If you are interested in judging, please also email [email protected]

Victoria University win Victoria Shield

A team from Victoria University (Gareth Richards and Yogesh Patel) won the Victoria Shield tonight, defeating Joe Connell and Kevin Moar in the final.

12 teams gathered at the Victoria University Student Union Building to compete in this impromptu knock-out competition.

Special congratulations to Maria English and Holly Jenkins, who reached the semi-finals despite still being at secondary school.

Thanks to Rosy Moar for organising everything, and to the adjudicators (Christopher Bishop, Stephen Whittington, and Simon Connell).