Hot debate goes well in cool climate

University of Sydney student Lucian Tan, who is adjudicating at the Australs debating championships being held in Dunedin this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
University of Sydney student Lucian Tan, who is adjudicating at the Australs debating championships being held in Dunedin this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.

The cold has proved a struggle for students from tropical climes but, apart from that, the University of Otago's hosting of the Australs debating championships is going off without a hitch.

About 350 debaters and adjudicators from Australia and Asia are in Dunedin for what is one of world's largest debating tournaments.

University of Sydney student Lucian Tan, who is an adjudicator for the tournament, said it had been run well so far.

The odd drink helped people used to warmer climates deal with the colder weather.

''Some of us are wearing lots of layers; others of us prefer to keep warm like the Russians.''

He had enjoyed Dunedin and was looking forward to seeing some of the sights.

''It's a nice change of pace from a lot of the really big cities.''

Otago University Debating Society president John Brinsley-Pirie said he had been rushed off his feet and operating with little sleep, but everything was running smoothly and on time. The only problem so far had been the heating switching off in some of the rooms.

Otago University's top team has secured a place in the finals, being held today and tomorrow, after winning six out of eight debates.