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NZ’s Top Students to Debate File Sharing Prosecution

NZ’s Top Students to Debate Whether File Sharing Should Be Prosecuted

Thirty six of New Zealand’s top secondary school debaters will gather in Wellington this weekend for the National Finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington.

The two best teams will meet in the Grand Final on Monday 12 August debating "This House would not prosecute people who download and share entertainment media on the Internet."

The Debating Council is partnering with InternetNZ for this year’s Grand Final, to encourage public debate and education over internet issues.

Desley Horton, the President of the Schools’ Debating Council said that the Grand Final should be a great debate on a highly topical issue: “As we move into a digital age, young people in particular are increasingly questioning whether or not our laws are fit for purpose and up to date. It’ll be fascinating to see what New Zealand’s brightest young minds have to say about this issue.”

Jordan Carter, Chief Executive of InternetNZ said that the issue the students will be debating is important. “As more of our recreation time is spent online, the question of how intellectual property rights affect our ability to access content is a hot issue – and the perspective of those who will live longest with today’s decisions is important.”

Teams from Wellington, Auckland, Canterbury, Otago-Southland, Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Central North Island, Waikato and Kahurangi-Marlborough will take part in seven preliminary rounds of debates over the weekend at Victoria University of Wellington’s Law School.

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Students will only find out the topic and what side they are to argue one hour before the debates.

The Grand Final between the top two teams at the Championships will take place in the Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament on Monday 12 August at 2.30pm, hosted by Hon Peter Dunne.

Waikato won the tournament in 2012 and 2011.

The best five speakers at the tournament will be named as members of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team and represent New Zealand at an upcoming international tournament.

The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Champs has been annually since 1988 and are recognised as the country’s most prestigious schools debating competition. The Championships are sponsored by Russell McVeagh.

Members of the public are invited to watch the debating action at the Victoria University Pipitea Campus this weekend. A full timetable of the rounds can be found at www.debating.org.nz

ENDS

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