Monash Association of Debaters

Rob Mars

It’s not all balls

What unites bombing Mecca, trying Ariel Sharon and six Englishmen starting for Manchester United?


From time to time a debate motion causes controversy across various forms of social media. In the old days – when I was still a competitive debater – I caused some controversy on the British Debate email list by promoting a debate the Glasgow University Union was hosting on the motion ‘This House Fears Islam’. 1 Similarly, the Durham Union Society sparked controversy when it once held a debate at its intervarsity which is now known simply as ‘the Mecca motion’.  2

It is easy to understand why both of these motions caused hackles to be raised and internet warriors to rush to the barricades. The nexus of religion and debate is generally a heated place.

At the 2009 World University Debating Championship (WUDC) in Cork another motion caused similar controversy. This was neither about some ethical dilemma 3 nor tied directly to a topic which may have made it difficult for the debaters present to return to their home countries. 4 The debate was the ESL final and was about quotas for domestic players in soccer.

A number of people opposed this motion for a variety of different, though related, reasons.

The first group did not like the motion purely because it was a sporting motion and believed that sporting debates should not be debated at intervarsity tournaments at all. Their motivations may have ranged from intellectual snobbishness through being uninterested to a genuine belief that sports motions do not generate as high-quality debates as others. Regardless, their belief was clear: sports motions have no place at intervarsity debating competitions.

A second group acknowledged that sporting debates are acceptable at intervarsity debating tournaments, but should not be utilised for break-rounds or grand finals. This may have been because they felt such motions lack prestige or because of a perceived unfairness regarding the need for specialist knowledge in sporting debates.

Some within the second group focused more obviously on the idea that the adjudication team would never have selected such a motion for the Open Final – thus indicating a lack of respect for the prestige of the ESL and/or EFL competition. This claim is impossible to test. It is certainly the case, however, that sports motions are not widely set as final motions (particularly grand final motions). The selection of a sports motion for a final appears is clearly out of the ordinary.

A third group felt similarly to the second, but had a particular objection to sports debates being set for ESL and/or EFL Finals. These people thought that the perceived unfairness regarding knowledge in sports debates would be heightened when individuals were not debating in their first language.

These groupings are loose and each individual will have had different specific motivations. This submission will address the concerns of each of these groups, and in doing so will examine the underlying antipathy to sports debates. To begin with, some important distinctions between types of sporting debates need to be made in order to reject the suggestion that sports debates require specialist knowledge. This analysis will also cover whether some sports debates are more problematic than others and whether or not specialist knowledge in sports debates is different to specialist knowledge in debates on other policy areas.


Dr Vengloš: Or why debaters should stop worrying about knowledge and learn to love sports 5

Most moderately-experienced debaters should be able to debate well enough without detailed knowledge of a particular subject. Debaters do this all the time. First principles analysis can often substitute effectively for specialist knowledge and there are very few sports debates that rely solely on knowledge of sports.

Using the Cork motion as a brief example: If a debater has a basic understanding of economics, how quotas work generally (particularly in a business context), why and when quotas might be introduced and how regulatory intervention can affect businesses, then they should be able to set out a decent case. I would think it reasonable to assume that ‘the average debater’ should be able to debate about those concepts. It is certainly reasonable to assume that a debater who is talented enough to reach a grand final can debate about those concepts.

I think sporting debates can be broken down into four areas:

1.      using sports to effect change in another state or show moral outrage,

2.      using sports to affect social policy within a state,

3.      equality-based motions, and

4.      debates about the nature and conduct of sport itself

As with any typology, there may be some disagreement on categorisation and some motions may fit multiple categories. I think, however, this is a useful categorisation and one that may help debaters and adjudication teams.

Whilst the Cork motion is not a classic example of any within the typology, I think it straddles equality-based motions and debates about the nature and conduct of sport.


Type 1: Using sports to effect change in another state or to show moral outrage

Rarely will these debates require sporting knowledge to a great degree and the arguments that run through these debates will be similar, if not quite the same, as any boycott or sanctions debate.

Moreover, these debates will typically relate to a major political issue of which ‘the average debater’ would reasonably be expected to have an understanding. ‘The average debater’ should have no real problem with these debates.


Type 2: Using sport to affect social policy within a state

It is more difficult to make a definitive statement regarding whether ‘the average debater’ will deal successfully with this type of motion. This is because the range of motions is necessarily larger.

A debate on fast food chains advertising at sporting events (or sponsoring teams) does not rely on sporting knowledge although it does require the debaters to analyse the role and influence of sport on society. 

A debate about outing homosexual sportspeople is a general ‘outing’ debate and does not rely much on specialist knowledge to place it in a sporting context. It may require some understanding of how sport deals with homosexuality. Knowing that certain environments (e.g. the military and sports) have traditionally had problems dealing with homosexuality and have had widespread, often institutional, homophobia is not particularly specialist knowledge. This debate relies on this fairly basic level of knowledge and the ability to build arguments around it.

‘The average debater’ should be able to debate introducing a UEFA-widesalary cap on soccer teams. 6  Whilst some specialist knowledge might be helpful, it certainly would not be debate winning. 7 This debate is largely about market forces, fairness within the game of soccer and the long-term sustainability of important social entities (football clubs). Is the specialist knowledge that might be helpful unfair? I do not believe so and – as we shall see – certainly no more ‘unfair’ than any other motion that requires specialist knowledge. A knowledgeable debater in proposition might be able to explain why money from the Arab world (Manchester City, Malaga and Paris Saint Germain) and Russia (Chelsea) is distorting competition and leading clubs without that wealth either to be left behind or go bankrupt trying to keep up across UEFA competitions. They could further explain that football clubs, such as Heart of Midlothian, are important to their local community and the impact of them going out of business is different to that of other businesses.

This, however, can be attacked easily on first principles: that any cap could be got around fairly easily; that it is likely sanctions against offenders wouldn’t be high enough to discourage them; that the likelihood of getting caught is low; that a per player salary cap wouldn’t work; that it isn’t the state’s role – or governing bodies’ – to police the pay of players; that over time oligarchs will get bored and the bubble will deflate; that money doesn’t always equal success; that the excess of others isn’t an excuse to run a business badly; that football has always been dominated by a relatively small group of clubs and all that is happening now is that new clubs are encroaching on that group; and that players will leave UEFA-competition to go and play somewhere that will pay them enough. None of that requires particularly specialist knowledge. Moreover, one does not need specialist knowledge to know that football clubs pay their players handsomely, nor that some teams (most obviously those owned by billionaire businessmen) impact the market by paying particularly high wages. Debaters may need to know the end product that they are arguing for and that will require them to make arguments about the wider, and broader, principles of sport including sporting competition. As I have shown above, there are first principles arguments here.

There is an argument to say that the important examples for these kinds of debates are not as obviously reported in the mainstream press and are instead limited to media designed primarily for consumption by sports fans. It cannot be denied that these examples will be highlighted in specialist sports media. It is also highly likely that this material will be covered by leading mainstream newspapers and not solely within their sports coverage. Indeed, where there is a nexus between sport and social policy non-sports media is likely to cover the event.


Type 3: Equality-based motions

‘The average debater’ again should have no problem with equality-based motions because the arguments here are similar to any other equality motion that debaters will come up against. As with most equality debates one side tends to argue for equality whilst the other side argues for the importance of something else, in this case the unequal nature of sport or the value of high-performance sport.

Are equality-based sports motions more difficult for debaters to engage with than non-sports equality-based motions? Although the debates do not rely on an intrinsic knowledge of a given sport, they may rely upon the opposition knowing why they are opposing equality (usually some level of sporting ‘good’), which may not be as obviously as apparent as would be the case with non-sports equality-based motions only because sports debates focusing on equality are rarer. With preparation time, I think it is reasonable to assume ‘the average debater’ can work this out.


Type 4: Debates about the nature and conduct of the sport itself

This is the toughest category to define and to defend. The motions outlined in Appendix A in this category are essentially schools-level motions. Debaters who struggle with the idea of banning boxing, or legalising performance-enhancing drugs in sport, or banning child athletes performing are likely to be very inexperienced.

This is the category, though, that can slip into overtly specialist knowledge and this is typically where problems begin. In order to lead to fair debates, such motions must be fair, deep and balanced (as all motions should be) but also accessible to ‘the average debater’. Will they – or, at the very least, could they – have been exposed to this in the quality mainstream media? Are there obvious first principles arguments to be made?

At one end of the continuum within this categorisation, we have ‘This House Would Ban Boxing’’. At the other end, we have ‘’This House Would Ban Welsh Sides From Playing In The English League’’. One is accessible, the other obscure, mired in historical and trivial detail and not a live issue.

In the area between those debates, however, the distinction is less obvious. The debate outlined below– on domestic quotas – is within the realm of understanding for most debaters. A debate on goal-line technology is perhaps a step too far. This is, perhaps, the best example of the difference between a debate linked to wider sporting and societal issues and a debate about how a particular sport is actually played on the pitch.  The former is likely to be covered outwith specialist sporting media, the latter is not.

Motions such as ‘This House Would Merge The Belgian and Dutch Football Leagues’ or ‘This House Would Allow The Old Firm To Join The English Premier League 8’ cross this divide, as would a debate about the laws of a particular sport. They rely on a deep knowledge of sport and sport that would normally feature in specialist sports magazines, not mainstream media. Some would contend that the Cork motion belongs solely in this category. I disagree. I think there are enough first principle-based arguments that ‘the average debater’ can make a strong case without specialist knowledge whereas the three examples above are all about specialist knowledge. Moreover, in the build-up to Cork Worlds, the topic was covered in The Irish Times, had featured extensively in quality news media in Britain and across Europe, and  had featured in The Economist at least twice in the months preceding the tournament.

Some of the motions above may rightly seem to be a step too far and most fair-minded people would think that debating those topics may not be very fun for people with little or no knowledge. A sports fan’s retort may be ‘If we’re going to accept – and we may not have to! – that topics can be about Rwanda then others can learn about goal-line technology’ 9. After all, Rwanda may feature less often than goal-line technology in quality media. It may be fair to ask wider questions about how appropriate specialist knowledge is elsewhere in debating.

As interesting as I find the idea of merging the Belgian Jupiler Pro League and Dutch Eredivisie or seeing the two Glasgow giants join the English Premier League, adjudication teams should stay away from sports motions which are so obviously outwith the ken of most debaters.


Rolled eyes in the auditorium:
Why debaters don’t like debating about sport?

Considering all of the similarities to other debates discussed above, a cruel voice might suggest that debaters don’t like debating about sport simply because they were the last people picked for soccer during school lunchtimes.

A fairer voice may posit four more credible reasons:

1.      debaters generally aren’t interested in sporting matters in their own lives. Some contend that it is because sports fans are comparatively rare in debating.

2.      that within the debating community the ‘sport’ policy area is not viewed at the same intellectual level as other policy areas such as law, economics, ethics or politics.

3.      those debaters who are interested in sport have an unfair advantage in sporting debates. Some contend that debaters who are interested in sport have a greater advantage in such debates than do interested parties in other areas of debate.

4.      Sports debates are viewed as requiring knowledge about sport or about the rules of sport (which, as we have seen, they generally do not) rather than about policy matters.

It is a generalisation to state that debaters aren’t as interested as the general population in sport. The anecdotal evidence for this is not particularly strong and it has not been reliably tested. Even if it is true, debaters are often required to debate on matters they find uninteresting. Debaters are also required to debate about topics they have no knowledge of and have to rely on first principles.

A fairer analysis is that the perception that debaters are not interested in sport has led to a culture of rolled eyes when a sports motion is announced. Sport is not debated frequently and, therefore, is not viewed in the same way as more frequently-discussed policy areas. This undoubtedly is true, but is not a justification for avoiding important debates because such cultures may break down if sports debates became more common.

Points (3) and (4) can be challenged by exploring why debaters fail to view questions of sports policy in the same light as policy questions from other fields. As we have seen, sports debates are very rarely about sport itself and fewer still are about the technical matters of how games are played. One mustn’t know what a Cruijff turn is to understand a debate on domestic quotas in football. Indeed, one could argue about domestic quotas in football without reference to the ‘three foreigners rule’ which existed until the mid-1990s in European soccer. As long as the debates are fair, balanced, deep and accessible then debaters should accept them. As outlined above, only debates focusing solely on how a sport is played or on obscure or trivial policy matters relating to sport should be viewed skeptically.

Upon seeing a sports motion, too many debaters assume that they cannot debate it and that they will not enjoy it. My contention is that with some thinking about first principles arguments, a little consideration of similar policy areas in search of analogies and some generic knowledge they should be able to debate sports motions perfectly well. As shown above, ‘the average debater’ should be able to oppose a motion on salary caps in soccer without too much difficulty.

An adjudication team considering a sports motion should therefore consider the following distinction: debates about how the sport is played on a pitch, or square, or court should be avoided; debates about wider sporting issues or how sports interact with other areas of social policy are fair game. It is true that the Cork motion is teetering on the edge of that divide but I think, as we shall see, it falls into the latter category.

The Quizmaster’s conundrum and ‘the average debater’

My contentions are that debaters should not shy away from sporting debates simply because they are not fans of sport and that adjudication teams should not shy away from sporting debates simply because of rolled eyes in the auditorium. We live in a debating world where many of the motions that we debate about are on the edge of reason rather than on the edge of policy. 10

It seems odd that we can debate about interesting policy proposals that may never actually occur, will never be considered in mainstream political discourse, will rarely be considered outside specialist academia, and at the same time reject debates about a form of enjoyment enjoyed by billions of people around the world, accessible to millions more, and that is featured in depth in every quality newspaper in the world every day.

The popularity of a subject area is important because debating should be about matters which affect people’s lives and should have some relevance to the real world.

All that said: adjudication teams are faced with the quizmaster’s conundrum: how do you know what other people will know?

There are legitimate concerns about specialist knowledge in debating particularly on matters relating to sport. It is noticeable that these concerns do not seem to surface elsewhere. Few would complain if a DPhil philosophy student specialising in Ethics won a debate on abortion. Fewer still would complain if Oxford Politics, Philosophy and Economics students debated on politics, philosophy or economics or if Middle Temple, or Harvard Law School, won a debate on law. It seems odd to suggest that people who have knowledge obtained via a hobby gain some form of advantage whilst those who are studying a subject in depth at a leading university do not have such an advantage or, if they do, it isn’t something worth considering.

Some made the argument after the Cork debate that grand final motions, in particular should not favour individuals with specialist knowledge. That, surely, is impossible unless we revert to the days of Sydney WUDC where the motion was an abstract and equally accessible for all. 11 

The natural, and logical, extension of this argument is that we should avoid motions that give advantage to a select group of debaters with specialist knowledge. Alternatively, we could just accept that sometimes debaters will benefit from their studies, from their experience or from their hobbies. If we accept that for law, politics, medicine and economics – as we do and as we should – we should do so also for sport.

Debaters who are opposed to the idea of speaking on sporting matters will contend that sport just isn’t like law, ethics, economics, politics or policy. That may well be true of debates about the technicality of sport but the very best sporting debates often focus on politics, policy, economics, law and business.

They also miss the larger point: sport gives us an excellent vehicle to discuss wider social matters. Just as setting motions about robots and aliens is a useful way of having debates about meta-ethics in disguise, so sports debates can be used to look at a policy problem through a different lens.


Location, location, location

Whilst my typology may be useful, it would clearly be impossible to draw up a list that defines which motions are debatable and those which are not.

As well as the general principle that we should veer away from debates about the technical matters of how sports are played it is also clear that location matters.

In New Zealand, for instance, it might be perfectly acceptable to have a debate on the motion ‘This House Would Abolish Māori All Blacks Rugby Team’. Māori All Blacks is a rugby team that traditionally plays international teams touring New Zealand. To be eligible to play for Māori All Blacks a player has to have some level of Māori genealogy. All players have their ancestry, or whakapapa, verified before selection to the team. 12

No one in the debate needs to know about the intricacies of rugby – they are not having a pub debate about the constant changes of the laws regarding the breakdown or how the International Rugby Board has emasculated the maul. There is a need for understanding about New Zealand culture and history; how Pākehā  and Māori interact; 13 how best to promote minority groups within societies; and whether a team based on ancestry (or the wider, and deeper, concept of whakapapa) should be continued in the modern age.  There are good arguments on both sides and there are big questions at the heart of the debate.

This is a good motion for a New Zealand intervarsity tournament.

Equally, if this were to be set in the United Kingdom or the USA, it would be a bad motion. The motion relies upon a smattering of sporting knowledge but, crucially, social policy knowledge which would be outwith the ken of most debaters in those nations. It would be similarly cruel to pick a similarly New Zealand specific policy motion ‘This House believes successive government have failed Maori’ in the UK or the USA.

‘The average debater’ in New Zealand should be able to debate both motions. ‘The average debater’ in the UK could not reasonably be expected to debate either.

Place, and setting, therefore matter – and will affect the adjudication team. It is, of course, not always apparent in these days of global travel to IVs who will be attending.

In his excellent blogpost on ‘Advice for new CA’s setting motions’, Shengwu Li gives a number of recommendations to help get good motions for competitive debating. 14 Perhaps the most important recommendation is his third recommendation (‘Test motions thoroughly for balance and depth’. He then goes on to offer six further sub-points outlined below).

If we apply Li’s criteria to two illustrative examples.


Example 1: This House Would Out Gay Sportspeople

a)       Would a person who reads – but doesn’t remember every detail from – reputable mainstream news sources know what the debate is about? Yes. The ethics outing of homosexual people is discussed in mainstream news sources reasonably often. It is also a fairly standard debate at intervarsity tournaments. The only twist here is it specifies sports people rather than celebrities more generally or politicians.

b)      Are there (at least) five logically distinct, individually persuasive arguments on each side of the motion that are accessible to non-specialists?

c)       Yes. In proposition the following arguments might be made (i) outing gay celebrities makes the debate about gay equality politically mainstream; (ii) in sports, where we see that homosexuality is uncommon and repressed, we get rid of that narrative; (iii) sports people, particularly high profile ones, are well placed to break down misunderstanding and prejudice – moreover, it allows the general population to be sympathise with and understand the cause; (iv) that the rights of individuals should be superseded by wider societal objectives.

d)      There are many strands of thought and rebuttal for the opposition side.

e)       Does either side have a silver bullet? No. Some debaters with a deep knowledge of football may contend that Justin Fashanu killed himself because the abuse he suffered as the first openly homosexual footballer. This is a useful and emotive example. However, as Fashanu committed suicide in at a time when society viewed homosexuality differently (particularly in the sport arena) and when football grounds were very different places, it cannot be reasonably described as a debate winning example. Moreover, he was not ‘outed’.

f)       Would experienced debaters – whose only concern was victory – split roughly 50-50 on whether they would rather be proposition or opposition? I believe so.

g)      For early rounds in the tournament, check that there are few ways for Opening teams to doom Closing teams by their incompetence? No more than other debates on outing homosexuals.

h)      Is it possible for opening teams to ‘break’ the debate via sneaky definitions or policies? Again, no more so than most other debates on outing homosexuals. The only obvious squirrel would be to out players once they have retired from active sport but this would be outwith the spirit of the motion as ‘sportspeople’ suggests current activity.


Example 2: This House Would Introduce Domestic Quotas For Soccer Teams

a)       Would a person who reads – but doesn’t remember every detail from – reputable mainstream news sources know what the debate is about? Yes.

b)      Are there (at least) five logically distinct, individually persuasive arguments on each side of the motion that are accessible to non-specialists?

Yes. In proposition the following arguments might be made:

                                i.            The motion would restore the national identity of football clubs who have increasingly resorted to fielding foreign players in their squad.

                              ii.            National (and local) identity is particularly important for soccer clubs.

                            iii.            There is a growing gap between big and small football teams (both within and between leagues); that this is making domestic leagues and European competition uncompetitive or narrowly competitive; and that this is distorting the market both within domestic leagues and across European football.

                             iv.            The market is further distorted by the richer European clubs ‘hoarding’ talent (e.g. by buying more international class players than they need – or could possibly play – thereby stopping potential usurpers)

                               v.            In some nations young local talent cannot break through the ranks of established footballing talent and this has a knock-on effect on international competition and national sides more generally

                             vi.            European clubs harvesting talent from South America and Africa undermines the development of their clubs into globally competitive entities.

                           vii.            All of these have effective rebuttal points and there are compelling arguments for the opposition.

c)       Does either side have a silver bullet? Whilst introducing such a system would almost certainly contravene various aspects of EU competition and labour law such a line of argumentation is generally eschewed in competitive debating.

d)      Would experienced debaters whose only concern was victory would split roughly 50-50 on whether they would rather be proposition or opposition? I believe so.

e)       Are there ways for opening teams to doom closing teams by their incompetence? No more so than any other quota debates. Indeed, there is sufficient room in this debate for extension (the role of sport, the historic and cultural importance of football clubs, football clubs being an extension of their local communities and the relationship with those communities in an era of a global fan-base).

f)       Is it possible for opening teams to ‘break’ the debate via sneaky definitions or policies? Not as far as I can see.

Li goes on to say ‘The point of a tournament is to see who debates well across a variety of interesting issues. You should strive for both superficial variety) as well as ‘deep’ variety’. I would contend that sports debates should be part of that panoply. He also states that ‘there is nothing that levels the playing field between old hands and young talent like a debate about killer robots’. Maybe so. It is surely just as true that nothing levels that playing field like a debate about sport.

We should be wary of using Li’s rules as a gold standard but they are clearly useful and competent. We can safely conclude that if we accept Li’s advice then many sports topics would pass the requirements of balance and depth. That said, there is also a necessary difference between using these rules to establish whether a motion is good to debate and whether it is good enough to debate for a show-piece final.

Clearly there are other considerations that must be considered when setting a final motion. Will it lead to a good debate for an audience to watch? Is specialist knowledge in a final different to specialist knowledge in other debates?

Was the ESL Final of Cork WUDC a fair, deep and balanced debate? The answer, surely, is yes. Can it lead to a good quality debate? Again, yes. It isn’t just about how the game is played on the field. It is also about wider sporting matters most obviously competitiveness, the nature of modern corporate sport and the business of sport. I would contend that debaters good enough to get to a WUDC Final should be able to debate those matters and have a grasp of each element.

Is it a motion worthy of a final? That is more difficult. Clearly, it is fair, deep and balanced. I do not think it requires specialist knowledge but there is disagreement on this matter. Moreover, there may well be concerns about how interesting any quota debate would be for an auditorium full of people. Perhaps this is a question not about ‘sports debates’ but about the type of debates we see as suitable for finals.



Sports debates get a very bad and unfair press. At their best they can allow debaters to analyse large national and international policy issues through a different prism. There is nothing of which to be scared. There is rather a lot to be enjoyed.

As Harish Natarajan wrote in this journal in 2011: ‘Competitive debating requires that experts temper their knowledge for their audience – failing to do so could result in losing debates to those who are just better able to explain why their arguments are correct and why they are important’. 15 Amen to that. It is perfectly possible, and plausible, for a sports hater to beat a sports lover in a competitive debate.


Appendix A: a typology of sporting debates                                             


  1. This now looks hopelessly naïve and old-fashioned. I would note that it was one of the best attended debates I ever ran at the GUU and, given the charged narrative immediately after 9/11, was embraced by the Glasgow University Muslim Students Association as a chance to quash many misconceptions. Happily, opposition won by a landslide.

  2. This house believes that the USA should immediately adopt an unequivocal policy that in the event of a significant terrorist attack committed against US interests that can be credibly linked to Islamic fundamentalism the USA in response will carpet bomb Mecca.

  3. A debater in the late 1990s refused to debate at WUDC on a motion about the existence (or lack thereof) of God.

  4. I have heard that a debate about placing Ariel Sharon next to Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague caused Israeli debaters problems in 2003 whilst the ‘This House Would Assassinate Vladimir Putin’ at the 2008 World Championships caused similar issues for Russian debaters.

  5. Dr Josef Vengloš is a Slovakian soccer manager who, among many other teams, managed Czechoslovakia, Sporting Lisbon, Aston Villa, and Celtic. No debater needs to know that to debate about soccer.

  6. The Union of European Football Association is the administrative body for association football in Europe and, partially, Asia.

  7. Examples of some useful facts include that other sports use salary caps (rugby league), the high salaries of footballers and the impact of such salaries on football club balance sheets.

  8. The Old Firm is the collective name for the two powerhouses of Scottish football: Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club.

  9. Matt Handley, Oxford Union Society debater.

  10. From a quotation by the founder of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr Madsen Pirie ‘We propose things which people regard as being on the edge of reason. The next thing you know, they’re on the edge of policy’

  11. This House Believes Marx Would Have Approved Of The Internet

  12. Whakapapa is often considered to be the Māori word for genealogy or ancestry. It is deeper and wider than that and is a fundamental principle that is important throughout Māori culture. It isn’t solely a genealogical tool. It should be viewed as a paradigm of cultural discourse which can provide a basis for establishing, enhancing, and – in some cases – challenging relationships between individuals, families, local tribal entities and regional tribal bodies.

  13. Pākehā is a Māori language term for New Zealanders who are “of European descent”. 


  15. Harish Natarajan ‘Debating the global financial crisis’. Monash Debating Review 2011.