Another debating win

August 17th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Was pleased to see in Stuff last week:

The deputy prime minister’s daughter was in the Wellington team that won the New Zealand schools’ championship final in Parliament today, arguing for a motion that goes against politicians’ instincts.

The Wellington Black team of Carlos Bowkett (Wellington College), (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School), and Jodie O’Neil (Chilton St James School) won the national final in a unanimous decision over Wellington Gold, affirming the topic “That citizens initiated referenda should be binding on government”.

I commented to Bill a few months back that one day it won’t be Maria getting described as Bill English’s daughter, but Bill getting described as Maria’s father.

Maria English, who was in the New Zealand schools’ debating team that won the 2009 world championships in Athens this year, was named as captain of the New Zealand team to contest the 2010 world schools championships in Qatar.

Also in the team are Nick Cross (Scots College), Jasmin Moran (Chilton St James School), Josh Baxter (Auckland Grammar) and Aria Newfield (St Cuthbert’s College).

Congrats to them all, and good luck.

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15 Responses to “Another debating win”

  1. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Good to see that the art of passionately arguing for things you don’t believe in has been passed on down the generations in the English family.

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  2. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    But I thought we weren’t allowed talk about English’s family and the activities they are engaged in? What’s changed since the outrage about people discussing the achievements of English’s son? The fact that it’s good news, not bad?

    [DPF: I expect better than this of you Dean. Anyone who wins a national title is worthy of praise. Maria made the newspaper because she achieved at an exceptionally high level. The fact her father is Deputy PM is not core to the story, but just one of those interesting things.

    The coverage over what a 14 year old kid wrote on his Bebo page is very different. The *only* reason it became a story is because of his father. Thousands of kids have probably written the same thing.

    I’m surprised I have to explain to you the difference]

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  3. Angus (536 comments) says:

    Let’s hope she’ll beat her father in a debate about reducing the size of Government, welfare reform and lowering the tax burden.

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  4. Monty (980 comments) says:

    interesting to note that 4 of the 5 students attend private schools and the one who does attend a public school (Auckland Grammar) comes from one of the most sought after public schools in the country. Certainly helps prove that private schools deliver very good outcomes. (I wonder how many future Labour voters are to be found in that bunch)

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  5. michaelt (13 comments) says:

    I have to wonder what exactly the definition of “New Zealand schools’ debating” is.

    I was in the same class as one of those team members in 3rd form at Newlands College (public school, to address Monty, although he does have a fair point) in 2002. By 2006, s/he should have been in 7th form and out of school by 2007.

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  6. Kapital (120 comments) says:

    Why was English daughter representing Wellington? I thought her home was Southland

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  7. donkey (43 comments) says:

    very good point Kapital.
    Maybe either she should stand down from the team or he should give up all of his out of wellington allowance?

    As Whaleoil says he’s a trougher, and it seems to me he is one way or another in this case.

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  8. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    DPF: No David. We can’t have it both ways. It’s inconsistent to say, on the one hand, a politician’s family is off-limits (when they do something bad) and, on the other hand, to be quite happy to sing their praises (when they do something good).

    [DPF: You (deliberately) miss the central point. The good was of an exceptionally high standard – winning a national title and is newsworthy regardless of her family. The “bad” was mundane and something that tens of thousands of 14 year olds have done or do, and was only newsworthy because of his family. Again I am staggered you can not see this]

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  9. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    (I wonder how many future Labour voters are to be found in that bunch)

    Probably most of them at 20, and one of them at 40.

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  10. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    DPF: Yes indeed. And, no, I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate her successes. I’m just querying why she’s being pointed out for special mention, simply because she is the D-PM’s daughter. After all, each year hundreds of students win debating competitions, spelling bees, stage challenges, hip-hop challenges. It’s all mundane news…

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  11. William Fussey (45 comments) says:

    I watched the NZ Schools’ Debating Final. Maria English was the stand out of all six debaters on the day and won the cup for the best speaker in the tournament. She is very impressive, good work Maria!

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  12. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Blair M I am sorry but you are a stain. What a pissant comment. Congratulations, you’re an idiot

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  13. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    You obviously don’t possess the debating skills the English family display, UpandComer. Sure, it was a backhanded compliment, but a compliment nonetheless. For all my distaste for Mr English, he could teach you a thing or two. :)

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