“We are proud of the community we have created for students” Auckland University issues statement over signboard

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 27, 2024 |

Auckland University has issued a statement two days after concerns were raised by the Act Party over a signboard.

A photo circulated online showed a sign at the entrance to what appeared to be a university study room, reading “This is a designated area for Māori and Pasifika students. Thank you.”

In a comments section of an online blog, a student defended the sign and added context. “Student at UoA here who has actually been inside the room. It’s a room literally the size of a walk in closet that belongs to a joint club for Maori and Pacific students. There are several clubs like that for different groups of people in the business school. They all have assigned rooms like this.”

However, spokesperson for ACT Tertiary Education, Dr. Parmjeet Parmar, “blocking access to spaces based on ethnicity has an ugly past and has no future in New Zealand.

On Thursday the University of Auckland issued a statement attributed to no one saying “the university has a student population of close to 45,000.

“This large group of students has diverse interests and needs.  The University responds to these social, health and wellbeing, exercise, study, and religious interests and needs with dedicated facilities, spaces and support.  

“We have designated rooms across the University for multiple teaching, research, study and extra-curricular purposes, some of which are for Māori and Pacific students.

“We are proud of the community we have created for students and the support we provide for their success. The University community is open and welcomes students, their friends and whānau.”

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters described the sign as a “seed of segregation.”

“We have seen it before in apartheid South Africa, and the segregation days in the United States.

“There is no good that could come of this for our country. It is phenomenal that we not only would accept this as New Zealanders, but that some people have not learnt the lessons of our world’s history of horrors with this type of thinking.

“Some of our Universities have become a haven of ‘woke cultural brainwashing’ – where they teach, and clearly actively participate in, dangerous rhetoric and demonstrable race-based practices. They try to justify their actions by attributing it to some sort of ‘moral cultural crusade’ and wilfully ignore the direct comparisons to the KKK and the apartheid way of thinking where we are divided by race.

“Martin Luther King Junior was a great leader and fighter for equality in America. He led a change in his country directly fighting against these kinds of separatist practices and famously said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” Auckland University won’t be able to defend their actions against the enormity of King’s words” Peters said.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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