Otago University Debating Society

The Otago University Debating Society (OUDS) was established in June 1878 and is the oldest society of the University of Otago,[1][2][3] the first university to be founded in New Zealand. Echoing trends in Australia and the United States (the University of Sydney Union was founded in 1874 and Harvard's debating union in 1880), in the latter decades of the nineteenth century debating was seen as an important talent for New Zealand's thought leaders,[4][5] and was one of the three sports in the New Zealand University Games from 1902.

Prominent members of OUDS during its early years included Alfred Richard Barclay (one of its first vice-presidents),[6] William Downie Stewart, Jr. (1898–1900),[7] Harry Bedford (1900–1901)[8] who as a 25-year-old policial novice entered Parliament in 1902 with the highest individual vote that had ever been recorded in New Zealand,[9] John Callan (who won the Joynt Challenge Scroll in 1905)[10] and Oswald Chettle Mazengarb (c.1910).[11]

OUDS is one of the five societies in the New Zealand Universities Debating Council,[12] through which members compete in domestic, national and international tournaments. In conjunction with members from the Otago University Rugby Club, OUDS members formed the Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) in 1890 because it felt that university students needed strong representation. OUSA has become a strong advocate for student rights.



Bluff Cup

Bluff Cup is the name given to the debates held between members of OUDS each week, and aims to strengthen speakers. Each team name is based on a South Island locality. The Bluff Cup itself was donated in 1988 by the team the won the OUDS championship - Team Bluff.

University Games

University Games (also known as "Easters") is the first national debating tournament of the year, competing for the Officer's Cup.[13] OUDS has been a regular competitor at the tournament (usually sending the maximum of five teams) ever since the first event in 1902.[14] The tournament is held in the first mid-semester break. Teams of two speakers are given 5 minutes preparation time. University Games 2010 was held in Invercargil.[15][16]


Claytons is a casual tournament for debaters who have not been to more than two national tournaments. It is held annually between OUDS and the University of Canterbury Debating Society, who alternate as the host. Teams of three speakers are given 30 minutes preparation time before each debate.

The 2006 competition, hosted by OUDS was in Waimate, South Canterbury. The tournament was won by a team from Canterbury. Two OUDS members, Tristan Egarr and Lucy Johnson were selected in the tournament team for speaking very well at the tournament. The 2007 tournament, held in Christchurch, was won by Otago.

In more recent history Otago won the 2011 tournament hosted by Christchurch in Waimate with a team including Kieran James Bunn, Nancy Elizabeth Smith and Nathan Thomas. The next tournament is planned for 2012 and will be hosted by OUDS


"Australs" or the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships is a week long competition held in the break between university semesters. Debates are held over a range of international topics. Australs follows a traditional debating format: 3 team members with 8 preliminary rounds. Topics are impromptu with half an hour of preparation time allowed.

The 2010 Australs was hosted by the University of Auckland Debating Society. OUDS sent 7 teams and 6 adjudicators. William Chisholm was a grand final adjudicator.[17]

Joynt Scroll

Joynt Scroll (otherwise known as New Zealand University Prepared Debating Championships or "Winters") is a 3 team member fully prepared debating competition. Joynt Scroll is New Zealand’s oldest and most respected national university debating tournament, and is New Zealand’s second oldest sporting competition.[18]

Victoria University BP Tournament

The Victoria University BP (British Parliamentary) tournament is held at the end of the academic year after exams. It is a relatively new tournament and debates are run in British Parliamentary style (as is done at the World Universities Debating Championship). It was established in 2004 by the Victoria University Debating Society.

OUDS Alumni

1988 OUDS members
  • Michael Laws (writer/broadcaster and former Mayor of Whanganui; former MP for National and NZ First)[19]
  • Chris Carter, former cabinet minister and gay equality campaigner[20]
  • David Pine ('Sneaky Feelings' pop singer and current NZ ambassador to Malaysia)
  • Hon. David Cunliffe (Labour MP and former Minister of Health)


  1. ^ The Otago University Review: A History of the Otago University During its Minority. Otago University. 1893. p. 43. http://books.google.com/books?id=7w4BAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA35&dq=%22Otago+University+Debating+Society%22&hl=en&ei=LbW1TMnBNsO88gbKlomrCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Otago%20University%20Debating%20Society%22&f=false. "Of all the institutions now existing in connection with our College the oldest is the Debating Society.... the centre of the University life, from which radiated the social intercourse of the students" 
  2. ^ William Parker Morrell (1969). The University of Otago, a Centennial History. Dunedin: University of Otago Press. 
  3. ^ Elworthy, Sam. Ritual song of defiance: a social history of students at the University of Otago (1990) (ISBN 978-0473008994) (The Otago University Debating Society proved to be one of the most energetic student organizations over the next forty years.")
  4. ^ "Mr Bathgate and Mr Reynolds as ministers". Otago Daily Times (3352): p. 5. November 2, 1872. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=ODT18721102.2.33.6&srpos=8&e=-------100-ODT-1----0Debating--. 
  5. ^ Bettina Kaiser (2008). "Collegiate Debating Societies in New Zealand: The Role of Discourse in an Inter-Colonial Setting, 1878-1902 (PhD Thesis)" (PDF). University of Canterbury. pp. 100–143. http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/10092/4289/1/thesis_fulltext.pdf. 
  6. ^ "In the Public Eye". New Zealand Illustrated Magazine: p. 739. July 1, 1901. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=NZI19010701.2.5&srpos=5&e=-------10-NZI-1----2debating+society--. 
  7. ^ Stephanie Dale. "Stewart, William Downie". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/3s35/1. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  8. ^ "A Promising Career". Hawera & Normanby Star XLII (7617): p. 2. December 1, 1902. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=HNS19021201.2.6&srpos=476. 
  9. ^ Michael Gill. "Bedford, Harry Dodgshun". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5c2/1. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  10. ^ P J Downey. "Callan, John Bartholomew". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5c2/1. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  11. ^ G P Barton. "Mazengarb, Oswald Chettle". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5m43/1. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  12. ^ "Who We Are". New Zealand Universities Debating Council. http://www.nzudc.com/home/who-we-are/. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  13. ^ "Easters". University of Auckland Debating Society. http://www.debating.co.nz/?page_id=47. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  14. ^ "The First University Tournament". Evening Post LXIII (64): p. 4. March 15, 1902. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=EP19020315.2.23&srpos=468. 
  15. ^ 2010 Uni Games, The Southland Times, April 14, 2010 ("The 2010 Uni Games, held in Invercargill from April 14 to 16"; also slide 18 shows Otago debate team member Kurt Purdon)
  16. ^ Victoria beats Otago in debating contest, The Southland Times, April 16, 2010
  17. ^ "Tournament Summary". Australasian Intervarsity Debating 2010. University of Auckland. July 12, 2010. http://www.australs2010.com/. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  18. ^ "Victoria Wins Joynt Scroll Debating" University Sport wbsite.
  19. ^ Laws, Michael (1998). The Demon Profession. HarperCollins New Zealand. ISBN 10 1869502574. 
  20. ^ Michael Laws (August 2, 2010). "Carter's Goff gaffe exposes Labour leadership vacuum". The Sunday Star-Times. http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/opinion/3978811/Carters-Goff-gaffe-exposes-Labour-leadership-vacuum. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Otago University Students' Association — Motto Your students Association Institution University of Otago Location Dunedin, New Zealand …   Wikipedia

  • University Philosophical Society — Founded 1683 Home Page TCDPhil.com Council of the University Philosophical Society, 327th Session President Eoin O Liatháin Secretary …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford University Dramatic Society — OUDS redirects here. OUDS may also refer to Otago University Debating Society. The Oxford University Dramatic Society Founded 1885 Home Page OUD …   Wikipedia

  • University of Otago — Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo Motto Latin: Sapere aude Motto in English Dare to be wise …   Wikipedia

  • Otago NORML — logo.[1] Otago University NORML (also known as simply Otago NORML or NORML Dunedin) is a pro cannabis law reform student club at the University of Otago, affiliated to the Otago University Students Association[2]. It is not off …   Wikipedia

  • University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry — University of Otago Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo Motto Latin: Sapere aude ( Dare to be wise ) Established 1907 Location Dunedin …   Wikipedia

  • University of Otago College of Education — The University of Otago College of Education is a teacher training facility in Dunedin, New Zealand, run as part of the University of Otago since 2007. Formerly called Dunedin College of Education (Te Kura Akau Taitoka, also known as Dunedin… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine — Dunedin School of Medicine The Dunedin School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that make up the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Otago. All Otago University medical students who gain entry after a first year Health Sciences… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Otago Christchurch School of Medicine — The University of Otago, Christchurch, formerly Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is one of three medical schools that make up the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Otago. It is based… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Manchester Students' Union — Institution The University of Manchester Location Steve Biko Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, England Established 2004 (after merger of USA and UMU …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.