An unhappy Otago Uni donor

Dr Barnett Bond writes:

You wrote to me an undated letter which I received today, and you asked me to donate funds to the university for scholarships and other things. But a short time ago you announced that you were spending 1.3 million dollars changing the name of the university to have a new (changed) Mãori name. Really? 1.3 million? Can you give me a cost break down on that? Which individuals and which organisations do re-branding work that costs 1.3 million?
How many additional doctors would $1.3 million train? Teachers?

Donors don’t donate for rebrands!

I work in a medical practice where more than 60% of my patients are Mãori. Many of them cannot afford to buy groceries and many others are homeless and sleep in the streets of Auckland. I am additionally responsible for chairing a group of doctors and nurses at Starship Hospital that is focussed on just one disease, Acute Rheumatic Fever, which affects only Pacifica and Mãori. I work very hard to make a difference for these patients but not because of their race. If I was given an additional 1.3 million dollars, I would not spend a cent of it on a branding exercise.

Who would?

You spout a particular oppressor-victim version of “history” without seeming to understand that you will create an attitude of victimhood in some of your students, and a sense of guilt and responsibility among another group of students. Neither group chose their ancestors. Imagine for a moment the effects of your university’s teachings about colonisation on the relationships within my mixed-race family. Imagine for an additional moment what the relationship between my father and the Mãori battalion would have been if your victim-
oppressor attitudes had been successfully inculcated in New Zealand society before WWII.
I am at a time in my life and stage in my career and businesses when I am well off financially. Any thought I might have had about donating to the University of Otago has been scuppered by your pronouncements and decisions over the last several years. It fills me with sadness to see the neo-Marxist race-focussed direction my alma mater is being led in. I loved the University of Otago that I graduated from, and it pains me greatly to see what you are doing to it. There are plenty of places you could spend $1.3million that would make a lot of difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged Mäori in New Zealand, but re-branding the university is not one of
them. Please delete my name permanently from all your mailing lists; I do not wish to be reminded
again of your profligate waste of precious educational money on race-based virtue-signalling.

I understand other donors have shared similiar sentiments.

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