Face of the day

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas Photo credit: Massey University.
Digital image credit: Pixy

Today is the second time Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas has been our face of the day. The first time I featured her because she had made it clear that she didn’t think that the made-up term ‘hate speech’ came under the umbrella of free speech despite it having zero legal significance.

Now Thomas has shown that she is prepared to use the Thug’s Veto as an excuse to prevent people whose opinions she disagrees with from speaking at Massy University.

[…] Professor Thomas says she supports free speech on campus, but totally opposes hate speech. “Mr Brash’s leadership of Hobson’s Pledge and views he and its supporters espoused in relation to Māori wards on councils was clearly of concern to many staff, particularly Māori staff. Whether those views would have been repeated to students in the context of a discussion about the National Party may seem unlikely, but I have no way of knowing. In my opinion the views expressed by members of Hobson’s Pledge come dangerously close to hate speech. They are certainly not conducive with the University’ strategy of recognising the values of a Tiriti o Waitangi-led organisation.”

“It is clear there is heightened sensitivity and passion at this time, following the protests both against and in support of Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux’s right to be heard. Our ultimate responsibility is for the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and members of the public on our campuses and under those circumstances cancelling the booking is the right thing to do. The members of the Politics Club have acted responsibly in raising their concerns with the University and are free to meet Dr Brash at another venue if they wish.”

-massey.ac.nz


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