August 08, 2018
Speech ban raises Brash profile
Māori commentator Shane Te Pou says Massey University has given oxygen to Don Brash by denying him the right to speak to the campus Politics Club.
Vice chancellor Jan Thomas said heightened tension over free speech and hate speech sparked by the visit to New Zealand of right-wing Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux means the meeting with the former National Party leader created risk of harm to students, staff and members of the public.
She said views expressed by members of Dr Brash’s Hobson’s Pledge group come dangerously close to hate speech.
Mr Te Pou, who encountered the Canadian pair during their brief visit to Auckland and told them they should catch the next plane back to Canada, says there’s a difference between their message of race hate and that promoted by Dr Brash.
He says while Dr Brash holds archaic and assimilationist views about Māori, his group is not a threat.
"They really are a sad bunch of not so merry old men and if there is an alternative view or we do have Māori speakers, they are shut down quite quickly. They are not free speakers in that respect at all. He is a mono-culturist. He does have an assimilationist perspective. And by and large assimilationists don’t like the discussion, they don’t like the debate, because it’s about being exclusive and not inclusive," he says.
Mr Te Pou says the likes of Dr Brash are irrelevant to a younger generations that is increasingly comfortable with biculturalism.
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