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


Silage plastic wrap piles up on NZ farms as Thailand shuns product for recycling

The issue of processing rural plastics used in farming is causing concern, with the Government being urged to step in.

Silage wrap, commonly used across farms in New Zealand, is usually sent overseas to be recycled.

But with Thailand now closing its borders to the product, several New Zealand processing plants are full to capacity.

“We have roughly 250 tonnes here at the moment,” Southern Disability Enterprises general manager Hamish McMurdo said.

Until an alternative is found, farmers across the country are being urged to stockpile the waste.

“It was a bit of a surprise when we saw Southern Disability Enterprises put the post up on Facebook to say they couldn’t take it, but I have every confidence they’ll sort out an alternative,” said Southland Federated Farmers vice president Bernadette Hunt.

Until a solution is found, both parties are urging farmers not to burn or bury the waste.

“As soon as we find a solution, we’ll be letting them know and asking them to get it on in,” Mr McMurdo said.

Overseas plants are currently refusing to take sileage wrap, with Southland farmers being forced to hold onto it until a solution is found. Source: 1 NEWS