Victoria University Debating Society debate 10 August 2009


4 August 2009


Do parents have the right to smack their children?

The referendum on smacking is sparking controversy nationwide, and as a result New Zealand’s premier debating society is hosting a showdown between prominent speakers as votes are cast around the country.

The debate; open to the public, with entry by koha, is being organised by the Victoria University Debating Society and is sponsored by the University.

Side affirmative will be represented by champion student debater Udayan Mukherjee, commentator and former journalist Dave Crampton (who blogs at and former Young Nationals President Michael Mabbett.  Green Party MP Sue Bradford will speak for the negative side, as will founder of Lobby Group EPOCH and former UNICEF NZ Advocacy Manager and Beth Wood.  They will be joined by Victoria University Debating Society President Polly Higbee.

Each debater will have around ten minutes to speak, and a show of hands at the end will determine the winner. Tea and coffee (and heated discussion) will be served after the debate.

The debate is the second in a series of public debates on important issues organised by the Victoria Debating Society.  The Society has debated a diverse range of topics, ranging from whether capitalism is in crisis to whether God is dead. Emily Bruce from the Society’s executive said, “The Society organises public debates on issues that are fundamental to New Zealanders.  There couldn’t be a more fundamental issue than this one at the moment.”

The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society, founded in 1899, is the most successful debating society in New Zealand and ranked as the 19th best in the world. It currently holds the NZ Impromptu, Prepared, and British Parliamentary debating titles, and was the runner-up at last year’s Austral-Asian championships.

“That parents have the right to smack their children”

When: Monday 10th August, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where: Lecture Theatre One, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University

Gold coin donation.

There will be refreshments after the debate ends.


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