New Zealand reaches quarters at World Debating Champs

Press Release – NZ Schools Debating Council

For immediate release Unbeaten New Zealand reaches quarters at World Debating Champs The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team has reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 World Schools’ Debating Championships being held in Cape Town, South …Press release from the NZ Schools Debating Council

Cape Town, South Africa

For immediate release

Unbeaten New Zealand reaches quarters at World Debating Champs

The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team has reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 World Schools’ Debating Championships being held in Cape Town, South Africa.

New Zealand defeated Hong Kong in the octo-finals this afternoon, opposing the creation of special schools for indigenous languages.

Earlier, New Zealand won all eight of its preliminary round debates, beating Israel, Wales, Greece, Slovenia, Botswana, Swaziland, Thailand and Sweden. New Zealand finished the preliminary rounds ranked third (from 48 countries).

New Zealand now debates England in the quarter-finals. If they are successful in that debate, a semi-final match-up against Wales or Ireland awaits them.

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), James Penn (Wanganui High), Edward Foley (Wellington College) and Rayhan Langdana (Wellington College).

The team is coached by Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna and Udayan Mukherjee, both champion New Zealand university debaters.

Motions debated so far include whether the feminist movement should seek a ban on pornography, whether developing nations should allow child labour, and whether alcohol should be banned.

Christopher Bishop of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council said the New Zealand team was debating very well in front of large and enthusiastic audiences around Cape Town.

“New Zealand has performed extremely well so far. Every debate from this point on will be close but New Zealand has a great track record at the competition which should serve the team well”, he said.

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, South Korea, and Japan. 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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