Brash speech protesters speak out' -'Ideas are a thing of the past'

The protesters who interrupted Dr Don Brash's free speech debate at Auckland University last night have explained their actions.

Speaking to TVNZ1's Seven Sharp, members of the New University group say they don't regret their move.

"Universities are places to teach the next generation of thinkers and Don Brash's ideas on Māori, on the treaty and of what New Zealand is are a thing of the past," one of the protesters said.

Last night Dr Brash was about to start his first speech on how PC culture is damaging free speech in New Zealand when a woman with a megaphone began yelling at him, surrounded by supporters holding flags and banners.

"We stand against racism, Don Brash represents hate," she said as some people booed her from the other side of the auditorium.

Dr Brash then managed to speak as the cacophony died down.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat went in search of those who disrupted Dr Brash’s Auckland Uni speech. Source: Seven Sharp

"They don't want to debate the issues they just want to shout us down, PC culture shuts down free speech," Dr Brash said.

Hate speech is not free speech the protesters shouted back, once again interrupting proceedings as they also yelled "Don Brash go home."

Dr Brash supporters then chanted his name until he was allowed to speak.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat went in search of those who disrupted Dr Brash’s Auckland Uni speech. Source: Seven Sharp

Simon Bridges says left has attacked free speech after Don Brash shut out of Massey University

Simon Bridges says the left has attacked free speech after Dr Don Brash had a speech cancelled at Palmerston North's Massey University.

Mr Bridges was himself addressing students at Massey University in Palmerston North about the controversy today.

"We have seen a real attack on free speech from some on the left recently, first on some Canadian speakers and now on Don Brash," he told reporters outside the university.

The National Party leader hoped that the Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas would reconsider her decision to stop Dr Brash speaking there.

"Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas has got this badly wrong and she needs to rethink her decision and ask Don Brash to come and speak here."

He also had a message for the Government on the issue.

"The Government needs to have a real position on this, they can't cop out and sit on the sidelines, they fund the universities of New Zealand and should be standing up for free speech as well," Mr Bridges said.

Dr Brash, a former National leader and Reserve Bank governor, was due to speak to the university's Politics Society in Palmerston North two days ago, but Ms Thomas cancelled the event citing safety concerns.

Ms Thomas said the decision came at a time of heightened tension over free speech and hate speech prompted by the visit of Canadian alt-right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux to New Zealand.

Brash said their actions just helped to prove his case. Source: 1 NEWS

Last night protesters attempted to shout down Dr Brash while he spoke at a free speech debate at Auckland University.

Mr Bridges was addressing students at Massey University in Palmerston North about the controversy today. Source: 1 NEWS


'My name is Victoria, and this is my book' - seven-year-old receiving palliative care ticks goal off wish list with Hilary Barry

A Lower Hutt girl receiving palliative care for cancer she's been fighting for the last couple of years has just ticked off another an item on her wish list - being on the news for writing a book.

Seven Sharp got some correspondence about seven-year-old Victoria Vysotskaya, who needed some help with with her very specific wish list.

So presenter Hilary Barry paid Victoria a visit to sort it out.

From hugging a koala to making a snowman, Victoria said she's got a lot on her wish list.

Some of her wishes she's already ticked off, while others need a bit of help, like her dream of being on TV.

While Hilary was at Victoria's home, her book was delivered straight from the publisher, who had published it for free, into the hands of its author and illustrator.

Hilary read some extracts.

"The hungry dragon was going on a food hunt through the long grass. He went over the snowy mountains and through the forest. The dragon found a cave and sneaked in."

One of the many illustrations by Victoria shows the dragon's tail in the cave entrance.

Hilary told Victoria she should feel very proud of her book and Victoria said she did.

"My name is Victoria, and this is my book," she said, holding up her book.

Also on Victoria's wish list are riding a pony and a lot of food-related wishes.

Brave seven-year-old Victoria Vysotskaya from Lower Hutt is receiving palliative care, but was determined to tell New Zealand about her book. Source: Seven Sharp