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Kieran Bunn (21) was named as best speaker at the recent Joynt Scroll tournament, which is New Zealand's most prestigious debating competition. The OUDS team also reached the semifinals in the tournament.
Mr Bunn made the New Zealand debating squad from the competition, with fellow OUDS speaker John Brinsley-Pirie named the team's first reserve.
Mr Bunn said being chosen as top speaker was ''fantastic'' and the team's results in general backed up its recent successes at the world championships.
Much of the society's recent success could be attributed to the help sponsors - including vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne and law firm Gallaway Cook Allan - had given in getting members to tournaments, he said.
''It's really made a difference in terms of deepening Otago's talent.''
Having a two-tier school system and restricting the movements of people predisposed to crime were among the topics the Otago team debated at the tournament.
OUDS president Paul Hunt said it was pleasing to have one of its speakers chosen as the best in competition.
''This is the first time an Otago speaker has been named the best speaker at a national tournament since 2002.''
Making the semifinals for the third year in a row was also an achievement which showed how strong the debating society was.