Senior Premier A Grade

Premier A is the top debating grade within the Wellington Speaking Union Intercollegiate debating competition. It is designed for experienced, senior debaters. Each school can enter one team of up to five senior students, who can rotate throughout the year.

Teams compete in five preliminary rounds before the top eight teams compete in knock-out quarter and semi-finals to find the two finalists.  Speakers speak for 7-8 minutes for substantive speeches and can be offered points of information between one and seven minutes. Replies are 3-4 minutes.

The winning school receives the John F Henning Cup, donated in 1961 by the then United States Ambassador to New Zealand, who took a great interest in debating.

The best speaker in the Grand Final is presented with the Suffrage Cup, donated by the Hutt Valley branch of the National Council of Women, long-time supporters of schools debating.

The Grand Final of the Henning Cup, one of the highlights of the school debating year, is held at Parliament.

The grade has long received support from the Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society, who supply the adjudicators for the grade.

The convenor of Premier A for 2020 is Brooke Kinajil-Moran ([email protected]).

Winners of the The Henning Cup

For the winners of the Premier A Debating Grade

2019: Scots College 
2018: Wellington High School

2017: Wellington College
2016: Scots College
2015: Wellington High School
2014: St Patrick’s College, Wellington
2013: Wellington High School
2012: Wellington College
2011: Wellington College
2010: Sacred Heart College
2009: Scots College
2008: Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2007: Hutt Valley High School
2006: Scots College
2005: St Mary’s College
2004: Wellington College
2003: Wellington College
2002: Samuel Marsden Collegiate School
2001: Hutt International Boys’ School
2000: St Patrick’s College, Wellington
1999: Kapiti College
1998: Wellington Girls’ College
1997: Onslow College
1996: Wellington High School
1995: Wellington College
1994: St Mary’s College
1993: St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
1992: St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
1991: St Patrick’s College, Wellington
1990: St Patrick’s College, Wellington
1989: Queen Margaret College
1988: Wellington Girls’ College
1987: St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
1986: Wellington College
1985: Wellington College
1984: Wellington College
1983: St Patrick’s College
1982: St Bernard’s College
1981: St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
1980: Tawa College
1976: Tawa College
1975: St Catherine’s College
1974: St Patrick’s College
1973: St Mary’s College
1972: St Patrick’s College
1971: St Patrick’s College
1970: Taita College

Winners of the Suffrage Cup

Presented to the best speaker in the Grand Final of the Premier A Grade. Donated by the National Council of Women

2019: Jesse Richardson (Wellington College)
2018: Rusheen Draper (Wellington High School)

2017: S. Penno (Hutt International Boys’ School)
2016: P. McKenzie (Scots College)
2015: S. Noy (Wellington High School)
2014: C. English (St Patrick’s College, Wellington)
2013: A. Leslie (Wellington High School)
2012: E. Foley (Wellington College)
2011: E. Foley (Wellington College)
2010: N. Henden (Sacred Heart College)
2009: N. Cross (Scots College)
2008: M. English (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School); F. Ratner (Queen Margaret College)
2007: P. Smith (Scots College)
2006: R. D’Ath (Scots College)
2005: I. Gordon-Smith (St Mary’s College)
2004: L. Bollard (Wellington College)
2003: S. Whittington (Wellington College)
2002: A. Evans (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School)
2001: D. Dewar (Hutt International Boys’ School)
2000: T. Fitzsimons (St Patrick’s College, Wellington)
1999: R. Clouston (Kapiti College)
1998: S. Islam (Wellington Girls’ College)
1997: A. Livesey (Wellington Girls’ College)
1996: A. Livesey (Wellington High School)
1995: A. Houlding (Wellington College)
1994: R. Smithies (St Mary’s College)
1993: M. Barsi (St Patrick’s College, Silverstream)

Past Convenors

The Premier A grade has been convened by the following people over the years:

2021: Brooke Kinajil-Moran
2020: Brooke Kinajil-Moran
2019: Oscar Battell-Wallace & Robert Teagle
2018: Oscar Battell-Wallace
2017: Oscar Battell-Wallace
2016: Oscar Battell-Wallace
2015: Julia Wells
2014: Daniel Wilson
2013: Daniel Wilson
2012: Daniel Wilson
2011: Seb Templeton
2010: Seb Templeton
2009: Stephen Whittington
2008: Stephen Whittington
2007: Conrad Reyners
2006: Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna
2005: Christopher Bishop
2004: Christopher Bishop
2003: Emily Braunstein
2002: Emily Braunstein