On Thursday evening, the Auckland Schools Debating Final and Prizegiving ceremony were held at Auckland Grammar School in the Centennial Theatre. Form 4 student E. H. S. Chignell was named top speaker in the Junior Open competition, while Form 5 students I. J. Mellis-Glynn and J. M. Sandelin were named the top two speakers in the Premier Junior competition.
Prefects H. S. R. Jamieson, M. W. Palmer, S. K. Verryt and L. A. Wong debated again St Kentigern College in the Premier Advanced Final, successfully affirming the motion "This house regrets the centrality of the All Blacks to New Zealand's culture and identity." The moot presented a highly entertaining debate to the large crowd gathered in the Centennial Theatre, and the team worked well together to produce a case that touched on domestic violence, toxic masculinity, post-colonial exploitation of Pasifika nations and the real reason students enjoy the Staff vs Prefect rugby match.
Their comprehensive case showed that the unity and cohesion which the negating team claimed the All Blacks brought to New Zealand were neither unique or overrode the harms that rugby culture brought to New Zealand. In a close but clear decision, the chief adjudicator awarded the debate to the Premier Advanced team with a 3-0 vote.
For his highly entertaining speeches at second affirmative and leader positions, Palmer, as captain, was awarded the cup for best speaker of the final, and this result capped off a very successful year for the team.
Mellis-Glynn and Palmer (on behalf of the Premier team) crossed stage on Friday morning to receive their trophies and the School's congratulations.