Men to do it 'tough' in gender charity debate

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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A female comedian of the decade, a mayor who enjoys playing the comic, politicians, lawyers and a high-profile mystery guest will line up in a gender-centric debate to raise money for charity in Invercargill next month.

The debate, to be held on March 23 and pitting an all-male team against an all-female team, is being organised by the Rotary Club of North Invercargill, with the funds raised going to the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Southland Hospital and other youth charities.

Joining Mayor Tim Shadbolt on the boys' team will be Waitaki District councillor Jim Hopkins and a mystery guest being organised by debate chairman Invercargill MP Eric Roy.

Mr Roy was cryptic when asked for a clue regarding the identity of the third member for the male team.

"All I can say is there is a high-profile person looking at their diary," he said.

Lining up for the girls' team will be Kiwi comic Michele A'Court and high-profile sisters Lianne and Kathryn Dalziel - an MP and a lawyer respectively.

The female team was a formidable lineup that would make it even harder for their male counterparts, Mr Shadbolt said.

"It's always tough for the males because we men can't be too nasty while the ladies can get away with putting the boot in," he said.

"Even if the other men in the crowd support us, they will be too nervous to show their support with their wives and girlfriends sitting next to them."

It will be the job of Mr Roy, the Deputy Speaker in Parliament, to make sure that the debate - whose topic is yet to be decided - does not get out of control on the night.

"After Parliament, this will be a piece of cake," he said.

A debate between Southland Boys High School and Southland Girls High School will be the curtain-raiser to the main event.

Trevor Johnston, Rotary Club of North Invercargill's fundraising chairman, said the event would be an entertaining and enlightening evening.

MARK THE CALENDAR

What: Celebrity Debate Where: Civic Theatre When: 7.30pm, March 23 Tickets: $30 – Adults, $15 – Students and senior citizens. Available from Civic Theatre and ICC booking office.

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