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NZ in Grand Final of World Schools Debating Champs

*NZ in Grand Final of World Schools Debating Champs*

The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team has reached the Grand Final of the World Schools' Debating Champs in Washington D.C, after a unanimous victory over Scotland in the semi-finals, held this morning (NZ Time).

The team will meet England in the Grand Final, on the motion "This House would expand the permanent membership of the UN Security Council." New Zealand will affirm the motion and England will negate.

The Grand Final, at the Reagan Centre in Washington DC, will commence at 6.30am on Monday morning (NZ time).

Christopher Bishop of the NZ Schools' Debating Council said that it was the first time New Zealand had reached the final of the World Champs since 1995. "New Zealand has never lost a Grand Final at Worlds before, and hopefully that record will continue tomorrow", he said. "We're absolutely delighted, and we're confident the team can bring home the World Trophy to New Zealand", he added.

The five person Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team comprises Maria English (Captain, Samuel Marsden Collegiate), Holly Jenkins (Sacred Heart College), Jennifer Savage (Wanganui Collegiate), Tom Chen (Hillcrest High School) and Ben Kornfeld (King's College).

The team is being coached by Julia Fetherston (an Australian law student and champion student debater) and Kevin Moar (a policy analyst at the Ministry of Health). The team was selected at the national finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Champs, held in May this year.

The World Schools' Debating Championships, a global competition for high school debaters, has been held each year since 1988. This year's tournament involves 39 teams, including England, Wales, Scotland, India, Pakistan, the USA, South Africa, South Korea, and Japan. New Zealand has won the tournament three times since 1988 (in 1991, 1992, and 1995) and hosted the competition in 1994. Ends

ENDS

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