Three PNBHS teams competed at the Central North Island Regional Debating Competition in Whanganui last weekend. Each team took part in five rounds of debating in which the school saw great success. The two development teams competed to varying strengths, with the team consisting of Blake Storrier, Ollie Gillespie and John Hopcroft doing exceptionally well, winning four out of their five debates to finish closely in third place overall. The teams debated a wide variety of moots, the most controversial of which being “This house would ban all contact sports” in which the Senior A affirmed and won. The PNBHS Senior A had a good start to their year, also winning four out of their five debates. As three teams in the competition finished having won four debates the selection for the finals came down to total individual speaker points from across the entire competition. The top three teams, including two from PNBHS, had only a total difference of 2.3 points between them. This led to the PNBHS Senior A being selected to go up against Whanganui High School Gold for the finals. The Senior A gave it their all but could not quite defeat Whanganui on their own turf, narrowly losing the final making them runners up for the competition. This was still a satisfactory result for the team, as a PNBHS Senior A has not made the finals since 2013.
What did PNBHS the most credit however was the individual speaker awards in which the school “cleaned up” so to speak. Ollie Gillespie was selected as a reserve for the regional team, and awarded most promising speaker of the competition and John Cole once again was awarded a highly commended. However the big winner was Andrew Karatea, winning not only a place on the regional team, but the award for best style, and the award for best speaker of the competition, neither of which a PNBHS student has won in many years. An excellent start to what will hopefully be a prosperous year for debating at Boys High.