Good luck Maria and Holly

Two current and former Wellington schools debaters leave today to compete at the 2009 World Schools Debating Championships, as part of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team.

Holly Jenkins (Sacred Heart College) and Maria English (Marsden) were both members of the team that finished as runners-up at the 2008 World Champs in Washington in September last year. This year, they are aiming to finish one place higher. Good luck!

The debating starts on 11 February and you can see round by round results as they come to hand at

Executive 2009

The Wellington Speaking Union 2008 AGM was held on Tuesday October 28 at Turnbull House.

The 2009 Executive is:

President: Christopher Bishop
Treasurer: Stephen Whittington
Secretary: David Dewar

WSU Annual General Meeting 2008

The Wellington Speaking Union, which organises adult and schools debating in Wellington, is having its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28 October at 6.30pm in Turnbull House (on the corner of Bowen St and Lambton Quay).
This is an important meeting because a new constitution is being proposed for the WSU which will allow schools and adult debaters/adjudicators (as “clubs” in the formal sense do not exist) to vote for the committee with runs WSU throughout the year. 
The accounts of this year and the President’s Report will also be presented. A formal agenda will be sent out closer to the time, along with a draft constitution.
There will be supper at the meeting and it should go for no more than an hour.

Chilton win Premier B Grade

The final intercollegiate debating grade final was tonight. Congratulations to Chilton St James School who defeated Marsden by 3-0 to win the Premier B grade and the Fred McComish Trophy.

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).

Marsden win Premier A

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School defeated Queen Maragaret College in the Grand Final of the Premier A debating competition last night, winning the Henning Cup for the second time in the tournament’s 39 year history.

The team of Adele Quigley-McBride, Maria English, and Dipti Manchanda successfully negated the motion “This House believes all states should adopt open immigration policies”.

Maria English and Frances Ratner from QMC shared the Suffrage Cup for the best speaker in the Grand Final.

Judging the debate were Christopher Bishop, Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna, and Rosemary Moar. Stephen Whittington, the convenor of the Premier A Grade in 2008, chaired the debate, which was held in front of a lively and large audience.

Stockley Cup – SHC and Wellington College take the spoils

The Stockley Cup prepared speaking competition was held tonight at Turnbull House. Six speakers entered in the junior competition, and five entered the senior competition.

The runners-up in the Junior competition were:

3rd: Stephen Petris – Scots College
2nd: Rayhan Langdana – Wellington College

And the winner of the Dunsheath Trophy for the best junior speech was Taase Pusa from Sacred Heart College

The place-getters in the Senior competition were:

3rd: Nicola Wood – St Mary’s College
2nd: Olivia Norling – Samuel Marsden Collegiate School

And the winner of the Stockley Cup for the best senior speech was Jacob Diggle from Wellington College.

Thanks very much to Mrs Melda Townsley who adjudicated the competition.