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