Students Union Correct To Quash Attempts To Muzzle Free Speech

Media Release 5 October 2017
Family First NZ is welcoming a decision by the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) to reject attempts to disaffiliate the student club Prolife Auckland from the AUSA.

“The original vote was a disturbing attempt by ideologues to shut down free speech, debate and views, and the AUSA was correct to nullify the attempt as invalid and vexatious,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The AUSA should be passionately defending free speech, not pandering to groups who seek to restrict the views and association of groups they disagree with. Freedom of speech and debate should be treasured and protected at all costs – and especially at a university.”

“It is to the shame of the ProLife Auckland’s opponents that they are so intimidated and threatened by a group who value women and the unborn child that they have to resort to censoring them. This is an embarrassment for an academic institution that prides itself on diversity.”

“As with the attempts to muzzle Family First’s views by the Charities Board, disaffiliation of a group by the AUSA would have had a chilling effect for many other groups who advocate for causes, beliefs, and on behalf of their supporters, and may then find themselves labelled as politically incorrect and effectively censored,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First is calling on the AUSA to put rules in place that prevent these types of vexatious votes and to target only groups that are acting illegally or are failing to meet administrative requirements placed on them by the students union.

(Family First is going back to the Wellington High Court to challenge a second attempt by the Charities Board to deregister Family First because of the belief of the Trust Board that our views about marriage and the traditional family “cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable”.)

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