Laura Walters at Newsroom reports:
AUT cancelled a Tiananmen Square anniversary event after Chinese Government officials contacted the university to tell them not to go ahead with the commemorations.
The university said the event was cancelled due to a booking issue, not because of China’s request. This is not the first time representatives from the Chinese Government have tried to block a contentious event, and it’s not the first time a New Zealand university has cited booking issues as the reason for cancellation.
Emails released to Newsroom under the Official Information Act show the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland contacted AUT to express their opposition to an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, due to be held on June 3.
Vice Consul General Xiao Yewen met with Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack on May 31.
Following the meeting, AUT notified the staff member who had booked the room that the booking had been cancelled.
This is just outrageous. Another university that just shows lip service to freedom of speech and expression.