The CNI (Central North Island) Debating Tournament seemed to creep up on the six students who participated, as they prepared for the first debating competition of the year. The tournament took place on both Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March.
Freyberg had two teams entered. The Senior Gold team was made up of Catherine Paskins, Fergus Campbell and Zack Dupuis. The Senior Blue was Faith Quijano, Jacob Spillane and Hannah Prisk.
To start off, the teams arrived In Whanganui at 9:00 am on Saturday morning at Whanganui High School. They were briefed on the tournament and then went straight into their first debate with the moot ‘This house believes the voting age should be lowered.’
There were three debates on the first day and two on the second day and before every debate each team got thirty minutes to prepare for the debate.
By the end of the first day both Freyberg teams had won two out of their three debates and were keen to do even better the following day. But we were in for a surprise; the next day we were shown which team we would be debating against and the two Freyberg teams were to be going head to head. The moot for this particular debate was ‘This house believes the government should put social policies before economic policies.’ It was a very well-constructed debate and both teams put up realistic models and reasons; each team was fighting for the win. But in the end the Senior A took it out beating the Senior B by two points.
After that there was the second debate to decide which teams would be in the final. By the end of the five debates Freyberg Senior Gold had won four out of their five debates and the Senior Blue had won two out of their five debates, making the Senior Gold a shoe in for the final.
The Freyberg Senior A team faced off against Whanganui Collegiate in the final for which the teams had forty-five minutes to prepare. Freyberg Gold affirmed that ‘This house would support a Green-Labour government’. This was a great debate with well-considered arguments that made for a very close debate.
The Freyberg Senior Gold team won; they are the Central North Island champions! To top it off Fergus Campbell was named as a reserve for the CNI representative team, Zack Dupis received a highly commended award and Jacob Spillane received the award for ‘promising speaker’.
Overall it was a great experience for both teams. Each team learned a great deal over the two days and grew as debaters making for a really wonderful and memorable experience by all who attended.
By Hannah Prisk