New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships


New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships

The New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships is one of three university debating tournaments in New Zealand sanctioned by the New Zealand Universities' Debating Council.

History of the tournament

The tournament was established in 2004 by the Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society, with the aim of further exposing New Zealand debaters and adjudicators to the British Parliamentary style used at the World Championships, as well as providing practice for New Zealand teams attending Worlds. In its early incarnation the tournament was known as the "Victoria IV" (or even more colloquially, "the Islams", after its first convenor, Sayeqa Islam). In 2006 the New Zealand Universities' Debating Council agreed to officially recognise the tournament.

The tournament operates slightly differently from the other two major New Zealand tournaments:

*The tournament has to date always been held at Victoria University of Wellington, due to Wellington being approximately half-way between Auckland and Dunedin, and most BP-qualified judges being in Wellington;
*International teams are allowed to enter (indeed, welcomed);
*Non-university students are allowed to enter (hence the "open" in the title);
*Campuses can generally send as many teams as they like;

About the Prizes

The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society donated the following cups to the tournament in 2006:

*The Vice-Chancellor's Cup was donated in honour of Professor Pat Walsh, the Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington in 2006, who was very supportive of the Debating Society's hosting of the 2006 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.
*The David Lange Cup was named after the Rt Hon David Lange, a former New Zealand Prime Minister and famed parliamentary debater, who died in 2005.

Results from Past Championships

2007

* Winners: Victoria University of Wellington (Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards)
* Runners-up: Auckland University (Jordan Ward & James Little), Victoria University of Wellington (Polly Higbee & Clodagh O'Connor-McKenna), Composite team from Monash University and Melbourne University (Victor Finkel & Nicole Lynch).
* Top Speaker: Gareth Richards (Victoria University of Wellington)
* Best Novice Speakers: Dave Dewar (University of Canterbury) and Kathy Errington (Victoria University of Wellington)

2007 saw international teams (from Monash/Melbourne, Macquarie University, and Sydney University) enter for the first time, along with 29 other teams from around New Zealand (although Otago did not send any teams). It was the largest tournament to date. Ranald Clouston, a former Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society member, and runner-up at the previous Worlds for Cambridge University was the Chief Adjudicator, assisted by 2005 Worlds best speaker, Kylie Lane, and 2004 Worlds semi-finalist Jesse Wilson. Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards topped the team tab and speaker tab and won their third title in fourth years, defeating the previous year's champions, Auckland.

2006

* Winners: Auckland University (Jordan Ward & James Little)
* Runners-up: Victoria University of Wellington (Christopher Bishop & Kevin Moar), Otago University (Renee Heal & Laura Fraser), Composite team from Victoria University of Wellington and Russell McVeagh (Sayeqa Islam & Matt Sanders)
* Top Speakers: Sayeqa Islam ( Victoria University of Wellington) and Kevin Moar ( Victoria University of Wellington)

2006 saw the tournament grow in size again, to 28 teams. Auckland University won for the first time, defeating Otago, Victoria, and a composite team in the Grand Final. Sayeqa Islam won the best speaker prize for the second time, sharing it with Kevin Moar, making a return to the debating stage. This was the first time the tournament was officially held as the New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships. The Vice-Chancellor's and David Lange Cups were presented for the first time. Gareth Richards served as the Chief Adjudicator.

2005

* Winners: Victoria University of Wellington (Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards)
* Runners-up: Auckland University (Jonathan Orpin & Jesse Wilson), Victoria University of Wellington (Joe Connell & Stephen Whittington), Otago University (Jesse Wall & Laura Fraser)
* Top Speaker: Sayeqa Islam ( Victoria University of Wellington)

24 teams gathered for the second tournament, with Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards defending their title. Sayeqa Islam won the best speaker prize. Kevin Moar was again the Chief Adjudicator.

2004

* Winners: Victoria University of Wellington (Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards)
* Runners-up: Victoria University of Wellington (Josh Cameron & Ranald Clouston), Otago University (Holly Walker & Kate Wevers), Composite team (Philip Cornege & Matt Sanders)
* Top Speaker: Joe Connell ( Victoria University of Wellington)

The first BP tournament ever held in New Zealand was a big success, with 20 teams from around New Zealand entering. Hon Peter Dunne hosted the tournament's Grand Final in the Legislative Council Chamber of the New Zealand Parliament. Christopher Bishop & Gareth Richards won from opening opposition. Joe Connell won the first best speaker prize. Kevin Moar served as the tournament's Chief Adjudicator.


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