Last Wednesday, the fourth annual Teach First NZ Public Debate took place, where members of the University of Auckland Debating Society, Teach First NZ and Chapman Tripp communities gathered for an entertaining and thought-provoking evening.
The debate was held at the Chapman Tripp offices and the affirmative team consisted of Kayla Grant (University of Auckland Debating Society), Justine Munro (Teach First NZ Board member) and Shayne Misselbrooke (Senior Associate of Chapman Tripp), while the negating team was made up of Lucy Harrison (University of Auckland Debating Society), Leonie Wethey (Teach First NZ Alumni, English Teacher at Tamaki College) and Hamish Bolland (Chapman Tripp Solicitor).
The annual debate is an opportunity to witness and participate in a good, reasoned yarn and to keep thinking about, challenging and applauding our education system. The moot for the evening: That schools do not prepare kids for the real world.
This year, instead of a judging panel, it was the audience’s responsibility to choose the winning team. Initially, both teams were so good that it was a struggle to ascertain the audience’s favourite team. In the end, the negating team won the audience over with their persuasive points, effective use of personal experience and good humour.
Individual prizes were given out to Shayne Misselbrooke for using the most statistics in his argument and to Leonie Wethey for transforming a moment on the bathroom floor into an example of “girl power” being cultivated in schools.
Teach First NZ want to acknowledge and thank Chapman Tripp for their generous hosting and sponsoring of the evening.