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Student debaters coming to Wellington for Champs


Student debaters coming to Wellington for National Championships

New Zealand's best secondary school debaters are assembling in Wellington this weekend for the National Finals of the annual Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating Championships.

Twelve Regional teams from Wellington, Auckland, Canterbury, Otago, Hawke's Bay, Northland, Central North Island, Waikato and Nelson will take part in five rounds of debates over the weekend at the Victoria University Law School on both prepared and impromptu topics.

Anna Livesey, President of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council, said that "the National Championships are the pinnacle of schools debating in New Zealand, with talented young people from across the country meeting to test their skills."

In the first two rounds, teams will both propose and oppose the motion "That international aid should only be given to developing nations on the condition of reforms to women's rights."

The Grand Final between the top two teams of the Championships will take place in the Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament on Monday 8 August at 9am, hosted by Hon Peter Dunne, a long-time supporter of schools debating.

The Governor-General, Dame Silvia Cartwright, will also be present, as Patron of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council, and will present the prizes to the winning team and top speakers.

Over 100 schools and hundreds of students have already taken part in the Championships this year at Russell McVeagh regional tournaments up and down the country, from which regional teams have been selected to compete in Wellington.

The Championships, established in 1988, are now in their eighteenth year, and are recognised as the premier debating competition for schools in New Zealand.

The best four speakers at the National Finals will be chosen as members of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating Team to travel to the next World Schools Debating Championships in Cardiff, Wales, in 2006. New Zealand has a proud record at the World Championships, having won the title three times since 1988.

Members of the public and media are welcome to come and watch the debating action at the Victoria University Law School throughout Saturday and Sunday.


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