FSC vs Massey

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

Massey University is already facing a public relations meltdown thanks to its Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas’ arrogant opposition to free speech. Now the university is possibly facing a legal challenge too.

The Free Speech Coalition has resolved that, contingent on raising sufficient funds, it will be issuing legal proceedings against the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University.

Free Speech Coalition member Melissa Derby says, “Massey University’s action in barring Don Brash raises very similar legal and ethical issues as Auckland Council’s ban on Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from Council-owned venues. In both bases [sic], an authority has used threats of disruptive protest as an excuse to shut down contentious speech. This is the thug’s veto in action.”

“Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas’ ‘security concerns’ appear to be a ruse to obscure her real motivation – her personal distaste for Don Brash’s opposition to Maori wards on councils, a view she describes as ‘dangerously close to hate speech’, in addition to his support of the speech rights of the recent Canadian visitors.”

“This is a disgraceful breach of the University’s own charter and mission to “promote free and rational inquiry”, and sets a dangerously low bar for ‘hate speech’.”

“At the same time, we continue to engage Auckland Council in the High Court for their capitulation to the thugs. We face significant legal costs, but are advised that the marginal cost of bringing Massey into our case will be lower than for someone launching independent action.”

Considering the Coalition raised $50,000 in just 24 hours for its action against Phil Goff, members of the University Council ought to be nervous. Perhaps they could cut a deal – sack the VC in exchange for avoiding legal action.

And, as a few people have been suggesting, the Coalition is now here to stay.

Dr David Cumin, another member of the Free Speech Coalition, says, “With Massey University refusing to back down on barring Don Brash from speaking on campus, it is clear that free speech issues are not going away. Many supporters of the cause have contacted us to urge the Free Speech Coalition to become permanent. We have now resolved to incorporate as a permanent group.”

“New Zealanders are welcome to join and donate to the coalition at https://freespeech.nationbuilder.com/join.”

We know perfectly well that Phil Goff and Jan Thomas aren’t the only anti-free speech fascists around. The Coalition will have plenty more battles to fight.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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