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New Zealand knocked-out in quarters at World Debating Champs

The New Zealand Schools' Debating Team has been knocked out in the quarter-finals at the World Schools Debating Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.

New Zealand debated Singapore on whether foreign investment into land should be allowed in developing countries, losing narrowly in a great debate.

"To finish in the top eight of a tournament featuring 65 teams from around the world is an outstanding achievement. New Zealand should be proud of how this team of articulate and talented young people represented their country on the world stage", says Hamish Saunders, coach and President of the NZ Schools' Debating Council.

The New Zealand team consisted of Lydia Joseph (Columba College) (Captain), Nicholas Goodman (Hamilton Boys’ High School), Sabrina Swerdloff (Otago Girls’ High School), Alan Zhang (Macleans College) and William Price (Westlake Boys’ High School) and was coached by Hamish Saunders and Nick Cross.

After eight rounds the New Zealand team was ranked third out of 65 countries after winning seven preliminary debates. In the octo-finals they defeated Lithuania by 5-0.

The team was selected at the 2018 New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships, held in Wellington in August. Former debaters at the New Zealand Championships include Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and MPs Chris Bishop, Megan Woods and Ginny Andersen.

The Grand Final is between China and India later today.

Topics debated at the tournament include the development of lethal autonomous weapons, school vouchers, the Belt and Road initiative, and “call-out culture”.

The World Schools’ Debating Championships is the world’s most prestigious debating competition for secondary school debaters. New Zealand has won the tournament four times since 1988.


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