One of KBs readers, Duxton, has shared an e-mail he recently sent to Massey University:
“It is with considerable sadness that I write to advise that I will not be able to present a series of lectures…..during September.
“My withdrawal has been prompted by the decision by Massey’s Vice Chancellor, Jan Thomas, to cancel the speaking invitation to Dr Don Brash. Notwithstanding any thoughts I might have about Dr Brash, I believe that Ms Thomas has failed in the most fundamental aspect of her role — to champion the ideals of enquiry, open debate and free speech. This, in turn, reflects very poorly on Massey University itself, and (as unfair it as may seem) calls into question its commitment to these ideals.
“I have always been proud to be a Massey alumnus, and have appreciated the many opportunities I have had to engage with your students. [As such] I have not made this decision lightly: indeed, I was unable to sleep last night as I grappled with the issue. In the end, however, the underlying issues are too important to me, and my own set of values around the ideals I mention above; and as such, I must withdraw.
“……please accept my most sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. I was looking forward to working with you this year, and engaging with another group of students. I wish you all the best for the course.”
The only way the Massey VC will back down is if others do the same. We can’t let Massey University be the only university in the western world that bans a former opposition leader from speaking.