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The ASB Great Debate is THE event for Auckland 2013. An entertaining, exciting, engaging evening during which a Bruce Sheppard led accountants team took on a Mark Hanaghan led legal team to debate “Lawyers contribute more than Accountants”.
The event was a successful fundraiser for Starship, Kidney Kids and other Auckland Rotary supported charites. Here’s an overview from the man himself; Bruce Sheppard.
And what a debate it was too. The accountants carried the day in a debate against an awesome team of lawyers, Mark Henningan – Dean of Otago Law school, Mai Chen – experienced commercial and public law practitioner, and Simon Moore – the Crown solicitor in Auckland. A more opinionated, articulate and intelligent lot you could not find. So how did we win against such a line up you might ask?
Both sides did the unexpected. The leader of the law team made even my most outrageous pursuits taken in aggregate look tame. He was a nuclear bomb. I guess he and the audience expected the accountants to be the uncontrollable clowns. As they got to lead they thought they would go horizontal in a Limbo rock competition. There was no undershooting Henaghan’s stellar performance. We weren’t too naughty, this too was unexpected.
The accountants actually debated as a team with a structure to argument, the lawyers focused on being individual acts and lone hunters, this said they didn’t repeat themselves, as they had an endless stream of jokes. There are over 400,000 jokes on Google about lawyers. The best they could come up with for accountants was that we were tight, alluded to in a sexual interchange. Their most serious point however was this, there have been numerous freedom fighters throughout history who were lawyers, they couldn’t think of a single accountant that was a freedom fighter. They are right, accountants exert change through quiet influence and determination and don’t crave the limelight of leading a revolution, (writer excluded I guess) they simply want to achieve measurable, manageable non-disruptive change. But this said, yep, lawyers are more inclined to take a punch for the team. And this may well mean they contribute more good to society. Because someone has to take the punches.
Anyway the table vote was 24 accountants 22 lawyers, close run but a win none the less.