Gisborne Herald editorial against Massey University

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

The Gisborne Herald editorial is scathing of Massey University: Quote:

Massey University has come out the loser from its decision to cancel a speaking engagement of Dr Don Brash at its Manawatu campus.

The former National Party leader had been invited to Massey by its student Politics Club as part of a series of talks about National, also involving current leader Simon Bridges and rising MP Chris Bishop (who is now considering pulling out because of the ?apalling decision?).

In the lead-up two comments made on social media ? one was ?Take a gun? ? were seen as ?tipping the balance? against allowing the talk to go ahead.

Vice chancellor Dr Jan Thomas has made clear that as well as safety concerns, a big part of her decision was Dr Brash?s ?leadership of Hobson?s Pledge and the views he and its supporters espoused in relation to Maori wards on councils?. The views of Hobson?s Pledge members ?come dangerously close to hate speech,? she said in announcing the cancellation.

In an increasingly polarised world, where New Zealand seems to be at risk of catching the bug, our universities need to play a leadership role in encouraging civil debate on contentious issues. Massey has shown this week that it is not up for the challenge.

Tonight Dr Brash takes part in a debate at Auckland University ? a winner from the decision by its rival ? speaking in favour of the motion ?Has PC culture gone too far to the point where it is limiting freedom of speech?? The topic was set months ago but in the aftermath of successful endeavours to stop two Canadians speaking here on their concerns about immigration and now Massey?s Brash ban, interest in what would have been a low-key function has soared (and those speaking against the motion surely face an uphill battle).

Which points to other winners, those who rail against ?PC culture? and, ironically, the Hobson?s Pledge group?s effort ?to arrest a decline into irreversible separatism? ? which has been given significant promotion and a shining example of what it will say it is up against in trying to engage in an important debate about the country?s future.

Losers obviously are the people who make idle threats on social media, although some will consider they have won too. End quote.

Massey University is an embarrassment and it seems that Jan Thomas has brought her poor reputation from South Queensland university, described in Australian media as “the North Korea of universities.”