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New Zealand qualify for World Debating knock-out rounds

New Zealand qualify for World Debating knock-out rounds

The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team has qualified unbeaten for the knock-out rounds of the 2011 World Schools' Debating Championships being held in Dundee, Scotland.

New Zealand won all eight of its preliminary round debates, beating Bermuda, Greece, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Kuwait, Chile, Singapore and Japan.

Motions debated in the preliminary rounds included offering dictators immunity in return for leaving power, allowing free distribution of music on the internet, and whether it should be compulsory to vote in national elections.

New Zealand is ranked in second position going into tomorrow's octo-finals, in which they will debate Singapore in a rematch of round eight. If they are successful in that debate, then a match-up against either Canada or Pakistan in the quarter-finals awaits them.

Christopher Bishop of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council said the New Zealand team had got off to an excellent start at the competition.

"Every debate from this point on will be close but the team will take a lot of confidence from not yet being defeated", he said.

The five person Russell McVeagh New Zealand Team is captained by Nick Orr (Auckland Grammar School) and also comprises Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys' High School, Edward Foley (Wellington College), Rayhan Langdana (Wellington College) and James Penn (Wanganui High School). The team was selected at the New Zealand Schools' Debating Champs held in Wellington in May.

The team is coached by Steve Hind, a former winner of the World Universities Debating tournament for Sydney University.

The World Schools' Debating Championships, a global competition for high school debaters, has been held each year since 1988. This year's tournament involves 48 teams, including England, Scotland, India, Pakistan, the USA, South Africa, Korea, and Argentina.

New Zealand has won the tournament four times since 1988 (in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2009), were runners-up in 2008, and hosted the competition in 1994.


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