Top spot for Callum Hackston never open to debate

04 Jun 2021

Callum Hackston will debate for New Zealand after being selected for the national team following stellar performances at the Schools’ Debating Championships in Wellington.

The Year 13 student only took up debating seriously last year. However, he has already made his point as a member of the Canterbury side at the recent national competition and is the only South Island-based member of the New Zealand team.

Canterbury just missed out on a semi-final spot at the national event – culminating in a finals day at Parliament – this month, despite beating the eventual winner.

However, Callum’s arguments obviously hit the mark with selectors, securing his spot for the World Schools Debating Championships next month.

“I enjoy the nature of the debating competition and the social side – meeting people from all over the country and, soon, the world,” Callum, 17, says.

“I particularly relish the forceful thrust of the competition, and the intellectual stimulus as you try to twist the words of the motion to the best advantage.”

The Rolleston student hopes to benefit from extensive training in the lead-up to the world title and gain more skills for his post-College life while continuing to extend his connections.

“The world championships are to be held in Macau in July-August, but I’m sure it will be an online event,” Callum says. “However, I will still be able to ‘meet’ new people from across the world as we debate 65 other countries.”

Naturally, Callum plans to become a lawyer, with a career in criminal or commercial law.