Students’ Association: “Massey Vice-Chancellor has broken our trust”

The Massey University academic Board has acknowledged that two motions of censure have been lodged against Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas, but they won’t be voted on for a month.

In the meantime the New Zealand University Student’s Association has put out a press release:


Massey Vice-Chancellor has broken our trust

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is outraged by recent revelations that a Vice-Chancellor threatened to cut funding to a students’ association due to actions they disagreed with.

In emails released under the Official Information Act, Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas considered cutting funding to the students’ association and clubs if they decided to proceed with an event involving Don Brash speaking on campus.

‘We should be able to have robust debate on campus with people we disagree with, including our university leaders. But to consider cutting funding to a group that disagrees with your actions is just foul play,’ says National President Jonathan Gee.

‘While we do not agree with Don Brash’s views on race and many other issues, we support the right to free speech. As the critic and conscience of society, universities should be the bastions of that, not undermine it,’ says Massey University Students’ Association (MUSA) President Ngahuia Kirton.

Gee says that these tactics have stemmed from Voluntary Student Membership, where tertiary institutions’ management now hold all the cards.

‘Students’ associations have for too long been silenced from criticising our institutions for fear of ‘biting the hand that feeds us’. These emails from the Vice-Chancellor are the purest example of the silencing effect that Voluntary Student Membership has had on student voice.’

Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) was passed by Parliament through the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill in 2011, despite strong opposition. Since VSM, students’ associations have had to negotiate their core funding with their tertiary institutions, as opposed to receiving levies from students directly. The revenues of students’ associations have since reduced dramatically, some by over half since 2011.

‘Two wrongs do not make a right. Threatening cuts to funding key student services in order to get what you want is not fair game. Everybody loses,’ says Jason Woodroofe, Albany Students’ Association President.

The Vice-Chancellor has also broken the trust of staff and students through assuring them that her main consideration in preventing Don Brash from speaking was security, when this has clearly not been the case. She has misled the Chair of Academic Board, who are in part the guardians of the university’s role of being society’s critic and conscience.

‘We join Massey’s students’ associations in their call for their University Council to clarify its stance on funding independent students’ associations. The Vice-Chancellor has broken the trust we have with our institutions, and we want to rebuild that.’


34 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  September 20, 2018

    They should tar and feather this foreign female import and then sack her and put her on a plane back to Australia,all in the name of free speech and Don Brashes racist hurt feelings

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 20, 2018

      Possibly a little OTT, Lurch. It would make a mess on Air NZ’s seats though I suppose you could send her Qantas.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 20, 2018

      Don Brash is NOT a racist. She is being very precious and PC here.

    • lurcher1948

       /  September 20, 2018

      Do people really listen to mike hosking??? probably sad individuals with nothing better going in their lives

      • Corky

         /  September 20, 2018

        It’s more a question of who doesn’t listen to Mikey.

      • PDB

         /  September 20, 2018

        He may be a bit of a prat but he does generally talk common sense.

        • Corky

           /  September 20, 2018

          He used to take himself so seriously. I think he’s woken up to the fact there’s publicity to be had with setting himself up as a wealthy middle class tosser. That’s not hard because he is basically a prat. But he works hard to be a good prat. The nasty texts; the petition to remove him from air, show he’s on the RIGHT track with keeping public attention,both positive and negative.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  September 20, 2018

        Oh look ad hom attacks from Lucher!! what a surprise…

        A heck of a lot of people listen to Hoskings… they may not agree with him, but you pathetic little ad hom on them does you a disservice… sharpen up Lurch

        • Corky

           /  September 20, 2018

          Tautoko. Lurchy needs to be taught to respect his betters.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 20, 2018

        Bad news, Lurch. Heaps of people liking and listening to Mikey,:
        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12128624

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 20, 2018

          The fool crop’s the only one that has never failed.

          I know nobody who does. Not that many people would admit to it, I suppose.

          • Gezza

             /  September 20, 2018

            I didn’t used to but on occasion I do – Nat Rad can be boring and Hosking’s certainly not that. I usually have a watch & listen to Mike’s Minute if he’s posted here.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 20, 2018

              I have always found him opinionated and full of himself. I have never been able to stand him. I suppose that on radio one wouldn’t have to see him smirking, raising his eyebrows and looking supercilious, but I dislike him too much to want to listen to him.

  2. robertguyton

     /  September 20, 2018

    There’s a lot of fury being directed at this woman by posters here over the past few days.
    Some people are furious I Outraged, rope-able, incensed, blue-in-the-face!!
    That baaaaaaaaaad woman.

    • I haven’t seen that. You seem to be a tad outraged yourself about reasoned criticism..

      • robertguyton

         /  September 20, 2018

        From this blog…yesterday:
        “a bigoted and ignorant liar.”
        “she is a lying, ignorant, amoral, slithering scumbag. B”
        “An Aussie VC grovelling to Maori.”
        “The creep”

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  September 20, 2018

      oh Robert… maybe you should confine yourself to a safe space and plant cultivation…. you seem to be in a perpetual twizz…

      and in this instance Jan Thomas deserves all the opprobrium she receives…. she has been exposes as loose with the truth and a control freak who would suppress anyone who’s views she disagrees with… maybe that is why you resolutely defend her, maybe you share the same traits?

  3. PDB

     /  September 20, 2018

    Students association use this as an opportunity to bring back compulsory membership – who’d of thought?

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  September 20, 2018

      i wondered if anyone else would notice that PDB…..

    • Gezza

       /  September 20, 2018

      Yes I noticed that. What do you think are the flaws in his argument?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 20, 2018

        Inability to run a profitable organisation without being delivered a captive customer base.

      • PDB

         /  September 20, 2018

        The reason for getting rid of compulsory payments is that many students felt they weren’t getting value for money and had no choice but to continuing to fund the student association. If a student association is any good it should be self-funding, with people wanting to join it for a fee.

        The issue here is not the system itself but of one individual looking to abuse the system in order to progress her own personal agenda.

        • Gerrit

           /  September 20, 2018

          Bit like trade unions. If the were any good we would all still be members.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 20, 2018

            The bus driver who realised that he would be given any pay rises etc that the union members had without forking over his hard-earned money must have been well pleased at the lightbulb moment when he saw this.

  4. Tipene

     /  September 20, 2018

    Thomas’s position as VC will become increasingly untenable over the next week or so, but, like a rawl plug being punched into gib-board, so will be the impact required to get this realisation through her ti tiriti-addled skull.

  5. Tipene

     /  September 20, 2018

    And now she is crowd-sourcing her virtue-signalling:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/366920/massey-uni-vice-chancellor-has-no-intention-of-resigning

    When someone says” I have no intention of resigning”, then you just know a resignation is on the cards, and will eventually get over the line.

    • Gezza

       /  September 20, 2018

      I’m just going to monitor this. There are competing forces involved.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 20, 2018

      Of course she won’t resign until forced. She is far too stupid and amoral as I noted yesterday. She will lie and slither until she is caught and bagged.

    • Griff.

       /  September 20, 2018

      Reminds me of the Metiria Turei mess.
      She should fall on her sword before she does even more damage to both her reputation and the institution.

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