Stop Universities Undermining our Basic Freedoms

Universities are supposed to be institutions of research and learning where the status quo can be challenged and truth pursued. 

But for decades now, opposition to the core freedoms that enable us to discern fact from error have set in, ultimately undermining the ability of academics to perform their roles as 'critics and conscience' of society. This has made our universities hotbeds of orthodoxies and the temples of a new 'priestly caste'; immune from the realities, and indifferent to the voices, of everyday Kiwis. These institutions are 'upstream' of the culture-levers like media and the public service that have promoted censorship and consistently undermined free speech  challenging the very foundation of human rights in New Zealand. 

In short, universities are losing their social license. They have a vital contribution to make, but we need our leaders to bring them into line. 

Join us in signing this public letter, calling on the Government to do its job, set the rules of the game, and defend free speech. 

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Dear Ministers, 

We believe universities in New Zealand have a crucial role to play, where academics are able to be 'the critics and conscience' of our society.

Yet, increasingly, they are abandoning this work, opting for 'group-think' and the protection of 'sacred orthodoxies' instead. They threaten to silence dissenters and exclude heretics.

This is inconsistent with their role; the implications are far-reaching throughout our society, and our leaders must put an end to it.

We call on you to defend academic freedom and free speech in our universities, and to create and enforce laws that defend the right for knowledge and truth to be discovered. Defending academic freedom and free speech means that Governments must enforce 'the rules of the game'; not participate in the contest of ideas itself, but ensure that no one is excluded simply by virtue of the belief they hold. 

Without free speech and academic freedom, universities are institutions of indoctrination, not learning.  

We call on you to take action to stop the decay of these freedoms in our universities, enabling a new generation of students and scholars to dare challenge the universally accepted, consider the unthinkable, and develop new knowledge for the benefit of all Kiwis. 

5,363 signature
Goal: 10000 signature

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Showing 3772 reactions

  • Maurice Stewart
    signed 2024-07-23 21:40:13 +1200
  • Chris Lovie-Tyler
    signed 2024-07-23 19:57:02 +1200
  • Aroha Mahoney
    signed 2024-07-23 17:21:02 +1200
  • Allan Brown
    signed 2024-07-23 14:02:07 +1200
  • Malcolm Muir
    signed 2024-07-22 07:54:24 +1200
  • Denis West-Hill
    signed 2024-07-21 13:08:30 +1200
  • Heather Lowry
    signed 2024-07-20 07:38:25 +1200
  • Kathleen Griffin
    signed 2024-07-19 22:19:55 +1200
  • Elizabeth Johansen
    signed 2024-07-19 15:22:37 +1200
  • Kobus van Zyl
    signed 2024-07-18 13:32:31 +1200
  • Glyn Hogg
    signed 2024-07-17 17:14:51 +1200
  • Michael Avenell
    signed 2024-07-17 15:31:36 +1200
  • Fran Ricketts
    signed via 2024-07-16 06:52:02 +1200
  • David Robb
    signed 2024-07-15 22:23:42 +1200
  • Colin Helm
    signed 2024-07-15 21:59:32 +1200
  • Jenny Morrow
    signed 2024-07-15 21:13:44 +1200
  • Jonathan Bull
    signed 2024-07-15 19:36:08 +1200
  • Carl Schuler
    signed 2024-07-15 09:53:52 +1200
  • Scott Gear
    signed 2024-07-15 06:48:05 +1200
  • Jynene Wilson
    signed 2024-07-14 17:29:58 +1200
  • Audrey Rotheray
    signed 2024-07-14 09:26:36 +1200
    Several tutors that I had at Victoria University NZ (specifically female, in my case) showed visceral rage, contempt and disapproval towards students, who rationally ‘questioned the narrative,’ or verbally expressed a different perspective on particular matters—even as far back as the early 1990s. The ‘tutors’ (mainly in ‘social sciences’) acted like brainwashed cult members—breathing heavily, seething with indignation—frantic to shut the student down, to dismiss them and/or bully them into submission and compliance, and, if, failing in that aim, they would ghost the student—shun them, in tutorials. Extremely intimidating behaviour.
  • Allan Taylor
    signed 2024-07-13 12:23:16 +1200
  • Brett Petersen
    signed 2024-07-13 10:57:28 +1200
  • Kerry Daly
    signed 2024-07-12 22:23:44 +1200
  • ryan hayden
    signed 2024-07-12 22:04:33 +1200
  • Pauline Alexander
    signed 2024-07-12 16:02:35 +1200
    Just another part of the Deep State trying to stop truth coming out.

    Universities seem to be the last place for truth.
  • Andrew Loughnan
    signed 2024-07-12 14:16:17 +1200
  • John Wood
    signed 2024-07-12 13:43:04 +1200
    Bigots hate anyone opposing their views
  • shona tui
    signed 2024-07-12 11:23:17 +1200
    The Universities are not serving our children in a fit and proper responsible way to have a healthy democracy for further generations.
  • Peter De Veth
    signed 2024-07-12 08:48:00 +1200

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