Timing could not have been better when teams from the universities of Auckland and Wellington debated New Zealand’s debt strategy.
Hours after the Government released its Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update, The New Zealand Initiative held the Grand Final of its Next Generation Debates. Its moot: This House believes that paying down debt should be the government’s priority as tax revenues increase.
In front of an audience of over 120 people, the debate revolved around projected budget surpluses. Should there be tax cuts, more spending – or should New Zealand pay down its debt?
Labour’s finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and National’s candidate for Wellington Central Nicola Willis provided commentary. The high quality of the debate impressed both politicians.
Said Nicola Willis: “The Next Generation debates do a fantastic job. They provoke public engagement on issues that matter. And they cultivate a new generation of debating talent."
Victoria University’s Ailidh Leslie and Liam Dennis won the night. Liam Dennis also won the Best Speaker award.
Liam Dennis: “It was an honour to speak at the event. We had a supportive and receptive crowd. And we faced a high-quality team from Auckland. Winning was the icing on the cake. I thank The New Zealand Initiative for putting on what has been an enjoyable series of events.”
The adjudicators praised the Wellington team's wit and clarity. Their debating style made complex fiscal policy issues accessible and even fun.
Come along and listen to some of New Zealand’s top debaters battle it out in the grand final of the 2017 Next Generation Debates with the moot This House believes that paying down debt should be the government’s priority as tax revenues increase. The debates will be followed by a panel discussion with Nicola Willis, National Party Candidate for Wellington Central and Grant Robertson, Spokesperson for Employment and Finance, Labour Party.
Date: Wednesday 23 August 2017
5.30 - 6.00pm Arrival
6.00 - 7.20pm Debate and Q&A with panelists
7.20 - 8.00pm Drinks and nibbles
Location: City Gallery, 101 Wakefield Street, Wellington