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North Shore Libraries/Massey University Celebrity Debate

Michele A’Court

Gary McCormick

Every year just after solstice the North Shore Libraries Foundation puts on its Sunday best to entertain the North Shore community with the Great Celebrity Debate.

For this year's eleventh annual debate, to be held on Sunday June 23, the Foundation has joined with Massey University, itself in the midst of celebrating 75 years of educating New Zealanders, to present a debate pregnant with meaning in election year.

"That Politics is the Most Honourable Profession" is the moot point for the Affirmative Team which, by tradition, is led by Gary McCormick. Michele A'Court traditionally defends as leader of the Negative Team.

And as befits the moot, the debate will be chaired by one who has an insider's view as well as the benefit of hindsight into the degree of politics' honourableness. The chair is Professor Marilyn Waring, former MP and infamous goader of a PM into an early election. She is now engaged in the exceedingly honourable and respectable profession of teaching and researching Public Policy at Massey University Albany.

The Minister for Lots of Things, including the environment and broadcasting, Hon Marian Hobbs, and TV and radio funny man and Massey University Master of Arts almnus, Jon Bridges will support Mr McCormick in his attempt to sway the audience into believing that yes, politicians are indeed engaged in the most honourable of professions. Those assisting Ms A'Court to persuade them otherwise are PC (political commentator) Chris Trotter and actor and director Michael Hurst, who comes equipped with his own international Fan Club.

As always the debate will be big on wit and short on seriousness. The audience and adjudicator Richard Bright are, however, promised a few grains of truth when it comes time to separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats ( a clever allusion to Massey University's bucolic beginnings and reminder that the occasion of the 11th Great Celebrity Debate is also one to mark Massey's 75th year).

The Great Celebrity Debate will be held at 5.30pm on Sunday, June 23 in the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna. Tickets are $25 and available by phoning 488 3133, or visiting the Bruce Mason Centre Box Office or any Post Shop.


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