The Debating Report
Over the weekend, two HBHS teams competed in the annual Waikato Schools' Debating Tournament. This regional tournament is run by the New Zealand Schools' Debating Council and is one of many that takes place throughout the country during February and March. There were teams there from HGHS, Hillcrest, Fraser, St Peters, and HBHS. Our two teams were HBHS 1 made up of Ryan Choy, Rohan Singh and Harrison Thien (Year 13 students) and HBHS 2 made up of Logan Palmer, Travis Palmer and Robert Hoskins (Year 12 students).
All teams in the tournament competed in three preliminary rounds. Round One was on the pre-prepared moot ''this house regrets Disney's growing monopoly in the entertainment industry". Students were then given half an hour to prepare for Rounds Two and Three on the moots "this house would ban alternative medicines" and "this house would ban the tax on cigarettes".
By the end of the preliminary rounds, these two teams were sitting on 3rd and 4th place respectively. Debating the moot "this house would ban video games without playable female characters" in the semi-final, both teams beat the St Peters’ teams that had finished 1st and 2nd.
Therefore, both teams faced each other in the thrilling final with the moot “this house regrets the alignment of environmental parties with the political left.” HBHS 1 won and became the regional team champions. Logan Palmer and Rohan Singh were given Highly Commended awards for their efforts and Ryan Choy was picked as Best Style of the competition. Travis Palmer was selected as the Best Speaker of the competition.
Based on their performances in the tournament, Travis Palmer and Robert Hoskins were selected to be part of the Waikato Schools’ Debating team and Ryan Choy was chosen as a reserve. The team will travel to Wellington in May to compete in the New Zealand Schools’ National Debating Championships. Nicholas Goodman (a previous HBHS Deputy Head Prefect and member of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating team) is one of the coaches for the regional team. It is wonderful and a testament to the boys’ abilities to have Year 12 students selected as part of a regional team that is normally always made up of Year 13 students from the region. We are all so proud of these boys and their incredible efforts. To do five debates in one day with half an hour prep for each and then to speak for eight minutes per debate is no small feat.