Massey University responds

Two responses from Massey University today in response to Massey Vice Chancellor appears to have lied over Brash ban – Jan Thomas has backed her controversial position, but there two motions of censure have been put to the Massey Academic Board.

Not surprisingly that was widely criticised as it didn’t really address her misleading or false claims.

Newstalk ZB:  Massey University board tables motions to censure Vice Chancellor

Some on Massey University’s board are moving against its Vice-Chancellor, after she stopped Don Brash from speaking at the Palmerston North campus.

Two motions have been tabled to censure Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas, after emails were revealed showing she grappled with Brash’s speaking engagement before cancelling the event over security concerns.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Chris Gallivan told Larry Williams the first motion simply relates to the cancellation.

“The second is a censure relating to the information upon which the decision was made, which is still relatively unclear. The emails that have come out have been most unfortunate.”

Gallivan says the board will vote on the motions when they meet in a month.

He says if the motions pass, it will effectively be a telling off, and won’t directly affect Thomas’s job.

Good to see the motions of censure, but not addressing it for a month seems ridiculous, this will drag it out, with a stink remaining over free speech at Massey.

And it sounds like any vote in favour of censure will be little more than mildly symbolic.

Another interview with Galliven at RNZ:

Massey vice-chancellor under fire after release of emails

Censuring Shearer, Goff let off

Collective caucus responsibility imposed on David Shearer, breaking ranks is fine for Phil Goff.

Andrew Little says he will ensure David Shearer for expressing his support of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement at the same time that Labour as a party swings to full anti-TPPA, but he is letting Goff off. This inconsistency is odd and could prove problematic for Little, now trying to deal with a split caucus.

NZ Herald reported last night (but dated 5:30 am this morning):

David Shearer to be censured over breaking Labour line on TPP

Labour MP David Shearer is set to be censured for breaking the Labour line on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after speaking out in support of the trade agreement.

Labour leader Andrew Little would not outline possible sanctions or comment on whether Mr Shearer could be stripped of his foreign affairs portfolio.

“There is a range of options. I don’t want to go into any of them, but it is important he understands, and that every caucus member understands, that caucus collective responsibility is real and it’s got to stand for something.”

“I’ve had one discussion with David so far just to ascertain the facts. I’m yet to have a further discussion with him about what happens now, but I think every caucus member knows caucus collective responsibility is utterly vital and there has to be some sort of consequence if that is breached.”

But Goff has been let off – why does caucus collective responsibility not apply to him?

Although fellow MP Phil Goff also spoke in support of the TPP, Mr Little said he had agreed Mr Goff could break ranks with the party because of his long-standing support for the trade agreement as Trade Minister when the talks kicked off.

Shearer has supported the TPPA for some time as well, As have other Labour MPs.

The treatment of Mr Shearer differs from that of Mr Goff, whose comments rubbished claims the TPP was an unacceptable infringement of New Zealand’s sovereignty — the very reason Labour is opposing it.

However, Mr Little has confirmed Mr Goff had a dispensation which allowed him to break the party line. Asked if he had told Mr Goff to at least stop speaking publicly on the issue, Mr Little said he had discussed it with Mr Goff and “I’m confident we have a shared understanding about that”.

He said most people recognised Mr Goff was the trade minister who initiated the negotiations and had a “deep-seated”view on it. Mr Goff is running for the Auckland mayoralty so no longer has a ranking within Labour’s caucus.

Shearer is currently ranked 13 and is MP for Mt Albert, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Associate Defence Spokesperson. Little can’t take his electorate off him.