Free Speech Alert: AUT University disgracefully cancel feminist event on campus

For the love of Christ, if you can't debate feminism from a feminist perspective on a fucking University campus, where the fuck can you have it?


An outrageous decision last night by AUT to cancel and deplatform an event to discuss free speech and feminism!

Daphna Whitmore is a staunch socialist feminist who was discussing the insanity of banning feminist critiques of the trans movement, here’s the description of the event…

Join us for a discussion about free speech in the context of often polarising transgender-gender-critical feminism debate.
Daphna was the plaintiff in Whitmore v Palmerston North City Council, which saw the Palmerston North library forced to honour a booking for the feminist group Speak Up For Women. Speak Up For Women booked the library for a public meeting to discuss their concerns about amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act. After initially accepting the booking, the library later cancelled, saying it would only host a debate where ‘all views could be heard’. Speak up For Women applied for interim relief, which was granted, forcing the library to honour the booking. Justice Gerald Nation held that the Council’s decision to cancel the event ‘involved a serious failure to recognise the BORA rights of Speak Up For Women and its members.’
So, what lessons can we learn from this episode? Is it ever appropriate to limit free speech in public venues?


…surprise, surprise, Trans activists had this event looking at their cancel culture cancelled by putting pressure on AUT to silence this event!

For the love of Christ, if you can’t debate feminism from a feminist perspective on a fucking University campus, where the fuck can you have it?

Universities are supposed to be places of intellectual rigour and have the responsibility and obligation to be a conscience of society.

They have the philosophical and intellectual safeguards to allow these types of debates to occur!

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I was intending to go to this, but we had The Working Group on last night, it is an appalling day in the history of AUT that they are too gutless and spineless to merely host a discussion on cancel culture and its impacts on feminism!

Disgraceful behaviour by AUT and they deserve to be publicly shamed for their gutlessness!


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  1. Did AUT give any reason for cancelling this? Is AUT a proper University or is it one of these glorified former polytechs? You say universities are supposed to be places of intellectual rigour, and Aquinas said the raison d’être of the university is the intellect for the intellect’s sake, but today’s university vice chancellors wouldn’t have a clue you’re talking about the way that classical academics would have.

    Time perhaps to mourn the demise of the university. Nevertheless they can’t just cancel without reason and hopefully will start wriggling like maggots like Massey did when their vc cancelled Brash and the media found out about it. She looked a nice lady, Australian I think. They come here and get good perks and are pc culture vultures; Canada and the USA also provide fattish blondes with names from tragic pop hits of the 1960’s for vc jobs, commissions of enquiry, consultants and so on, but they need to explain themselves here.

    • Yes, you should be a proper university to have intellectual discussions.

      Surely Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale would be the sorts of places, not here in NZ.

      Maybe we can put it to the Privy Council for a ruling.

        • Every time I go out for a sit down meal, especially in the past 2 years I’ve noticed tables full of woman and few men.

          If this is to be a post colonial era it’s neither Marxism nor a pre colonial sophistication. Figures that used to be, the fundational hero, your Sir Apiranga, woman’s rights, and so on.

          Racism is an element amoungst everyone and its value are under assualt even though the threat of racism comes from abroad. bit it’s basically the same argument.

          Why should we reject this or that person?

          Why go on listening?

          Again China and America are building up massive forces. The Type 003 Chinese aircraft carrier currently under construction is obviously designed to take on American Carrier groups.

          New Zealand can not possibly hope to match the industrial might but we can admit that colonization was wrong and admit that swapping one type of slavery for another is plain wrong.

          Once we can admit to ourselves that colonization was wrong, we will then be in a position to enact a brand knew National Security Act and walk the world stage with our heads held high.

  2. The woke left was ALWAYS going to eat itself, as the ‘woke circle’ gets narrower and narrower as the original woke reason for being, women’s rights and protesting for LGBT rights and championing ones right to be ‘out and proud’…..has been taken over by the 0.01% of the population and ironically MEN who now demand to be treated as WOMEN are the main focus.
    Now that in and of itself is not a bad thing, but….and here is the delicious part….the trans women have captured the woke so much that LGBT are practically the enemy now as they stand up for ‘womens’ rights and God forbid anyone who says a person born a man…who now is a woman…should have basically more rights than a biologically born (and still identifies as) woman!
    It’s a popcorn eating great show to watch from the sidelines. How the leftie woke ties itself in knots, just look at all the cups/gold medals that men (who are now women) are winning in women’s sports, but the women’s rights activists who oppose this are TERFS! Lol
    C’mon…you gotta have to have known this was always going to end up in this hilarious pythonesk scenario.

    • Well, I was one of those who allowed AUT to become a proper university, including with a Law School. They did way more than trade training. And had done so for many years before coming a university.

      Having said that, I agree with Martyn on this issue. In fact it is almost certain AUT is in breach of BORA. They are a public institution and are bound by BORA in all respects. There were enough clues in the description of the meeting for them to be specifically warned about the BORA issue. Hopefully AUT will be taken to court for this breach. AUT should also have full costs awarded against them to deter such foolish behaviour.

      I imagine AUT would argue public safety as the reason for the cancellation., though of course that is a specious argument in this case.

    • Ah ha. Thanks Nathan, just what I suspected, a tech. The mission statement of Waikato University also almost defies description in historically traditional or conventional terms.

      I think ‘I’m Right’ may be wrong in suggesting that this is a left-wing thing. It seems to be in line with the Orwellian control the Kiwi vice-chancellors now have over academic freedom and freedom of expression, which is not just sinister, and intellectually crippling, but very much part of the neolib dynamics running the western world. I gather that the vice chancellors now have censorship power and control over research, and that all research projects have to be approved by them, and be ToW friendly. If I wanted to write a thesis on anything, some total Philistine has to approve it.

      It is probably a coincidence that AUT’s vice chancellor isn’t a far-right Nth American femme called Peggy-Sue or Chlorine, but is a Kiwi male of Samoan descent, who happens to be married to a labour MP, also Pacifica.
      I can’t recall her name but they look like what was once regarded as a marital norm: a man and woman married to each other, and in this case, from a conservative culture.

      What powers the vc’s have may be totally fiendish; VUW academics and alumni, have fought a long battle against its vice chancellor – some sort of animal nutritionist – rebranding that university, and seeming to see its purpose as being to make big bucks. At the back of my mind I blame Steven Joyce for the nature and the purpose of higher education becoming debased.

      • ” At the back of my mind I blame Steven Joyce for the nature and the purpose of higher education becoming debased. ”
        You’d be correct in assuming the failed zoologist has contributed to higher education being debased and becoming merely another commodity. Check out @Wayne’s comment above too. Bums on seats and all learning simply for the purpose of supporting economic and financial considerations.
        Of course their defence will be that those that criticise are simply snobs.
        Hold the ladder steady Wayne, I’m not coming down into your arms and I’ll bet Chris Finlayson is glad he never had to – even in your Broad Church

    • Nathan do you mean where people actually learn to do something as opposed to contemplating their naval, or learning the theory with no practical ability to apply it?

  3. Pointless to hate on AUT in particular, or question its status as a tertiary institution. They’re no more badly behaved than the rest. This type of cancelation will recur as long as the present Unuicorp funding model continues- they have a woke “brand” to protect, and are terrified of social media pile-ons. Turn them back into proper unis with no tuition fees.

    • “They’re no more badly behaved than the rest.’
      I dunno, when I think of AUT I think of academics teaching climate science denial and academics rabidly supporting the conviction of Peter Ellis.

  4. IT’ bullshit banning anyone….full stop.

    BUT I do take some pleasure in tactics that have been used in the past by radical feminists now being used against them….a phenomenon trans activists should take note of.

    • gagarin There are stroppy and aggressive persons throughout the LBBTQ ranks, not just among feminists. AUT should have its own security persons to handle disruptive or disorderly persons, so they need to explain why they are clamping down on free speech – it could be due to something quite simple or technical, in which case they should say so.

    • When did feminist ever stop meetings and cancel people? I am from the second wave feminist era and no one had their meetings cancelled if their opinion differed from feminist of the era. Ever occur to you that women full stop are under attack, it seems these activist cancel any women who disagrees with them. In New Zealand an apparent democracy.

      • a little tale delia….
        back in the day (mid to late 80s so I do mean BACK in the day)
        In the UK I was a member DAM an anarchist protest group, we had a delipidated old house at a peppercorn rent..the ‘lesbian separatist’ group insisted insisted that one of the limited number of rooms should be for them at ALL TIMES not just for their meetings but no one else allowed in at any time…a kind of proto ‘safe space’ everyone else..hunt sabs, anti nazi, animal rights etc etc etc….had to book an available room..but oh no not them…needless to say their demand was not met.
        They were also involved in what I think was one of the 1st cases of deplatforming at the local uni..the guy who who discovered the ‘bell curve’ if I remember right.
        Other than that bullshit they were valued members of the community

        and Yes I realise the situation, that’s why I said in an earlier post ‘banning anyone is bullshit’ or are you just personally against this particular ban because it offends you?

      • Yes Delia, and AUT cancelling them, is acting against all women by denying affected parties the opportunity to know who the various protagonists and their opponents are, and the reasons why they maintain the stances that they do. It is medieval barbarism at a time when gender identity issues have never been more relevant or important. The decision makers must be held to account.

  5. FFS how we are slipping back into the dark ages at a rate of knots

    People offended by the prospect of someone holding a discussion event that NO ONE is forced to attend.

    The trans/woke lobby are basically bullies but why do people places and orgs keep caving into them, There is only one way to deal with bullies and that is a swift sharp (metaphorical) kick in the plums

  6. Again! 100 years ago in a place called ‘Germany’, a lot of this ‘culture’ was perfected and weaponised to turn the masses against those who were not ‘them’.

    You know the rest. It’s global. It is known as many things by many different movements, but essentially it is all the same thing.

    All roads lead to autocracies, dictatorships and Authoritarian governments.

    • There you have it Denny!

      What we’re *actually* witnessing here is a flip from Marxism to Fascism just like happened in the 1920’s.
      Whereas Marxism arbitrarily divides people by class, the more virulent form of the disease, Fascism, divides arbitrarily by race, nationality or more recently, gender.

      And do you really think all this cancelling and protesting could be enabled by a tiny bunch of trannies who comprise ~ 0.018% of the population? Who generally lack the finances and social clout to achieve anything of note? Do you think they could fund and promote such a global movement? Clearly not – they are just the innocent meat in the sandwich here.

      • Nice conspiracy theory Andrew but it’s more likely AUT, just like the universities, are worried about anything that impacts their fee base. Remember when anything perceived as anti China, when students spoke out in support of Hong Kong, was snuffed out.

    • Denny P Which is precisely why I object to leaders like Luxon labelling people “ bottom feeders”, which isn’t just gutter speak, but perniciously demonises the have-nots.

    • just so you know denny, the 1920s were the era of the weimar republic pre-adolf and his bootboys, google it and treat y’self to a binge of ‘babylon berlin’

  7. Disgusting. Why is this not in the msm? They are complicite with the woke shut down.

    I am so angry. Its got to stop.

    Thanks Martyn for publishing it and considering going to the talk.

    • Anker Me too. I recall when university students could debate anything and host anything, and in retrospect, how exciting it was. We flocked out of hours to hear speakers who always got written up in the student newspapers, and were thence picked up by the dailies. I think I can say that Otago University’s ‘Critic ‘ was a direct feed to the ‘ODT,’ and that the universities at least equaled the fearless leader writers of the pre-electronic press era. Now they’re scared, and that’s not good.

      The LGBTQ people can be profoundly irritating but so what ? They’re not manufacturing Molotov cocktails.

      • In my time at uni there was heated debate outside the library about the SpringBok Tour and activists groups moving that discussion onto confronting racism in this country. No one came to blows. However, Muldoon’s guest lecture was cancelled when the FAIR group (Fight Against Institutional Racism) called in a bomb threat. Don Brash was cancelled because some staff member or student could feel mentally unwell if Brash was in a 1km range of a complainant individual. Surely, anyone who cannot hear the other side of a debate is either already mentally unwell or a fascist.

        • Joseph, If there was a bomb threat, then cancellation would have been the smart thing to do. With Brash at Massey, I thought the VC said that they were protecting Brash from having eggs and tomatoes biffed at him… They could have just bought him a raincoat – and I rather think that he’d have coped anyway, he’s had messy stuff thrown at him before. If the kindly paternalistic AUT vice chancellor is protecting ladies from eggs and tomatoes, it mightn’t have occurred to him that many students can’t afford to buy that much food now, and wise women would have been grabbing those tomatoes, taking them home, and making chutney with them, although I imagine that egg catching is an acquired skill.

          (There used to be a Chinese greengrocer in Wellington who gave away old tomatoes for free to people to preserve or whatever, but nowadays poor folk scrabble through the rubbish bins at farmers’ markets, and I gather, at supermarkets, or queue for NGO’s food parcels.)

          Anybody triggered by a speaker or even the sight of them, doesn’t have to go and see them – and some of this sort of thing is dopey posturing – eg some of the Auckland Pride Parade protestors – with agendas.

    • Delia. Every time I see your lovely grandmother’s name, it reminds me of the Delia in my childhood, mother of two school children with her husband killed in an accident, catching the tram daily to go to humdrum work, the hard life of single-self supporting women far too busy being unwitting trailblazers to do a hang of a lot of other things, and far more graceful role models than they probably ever knew, or who are seen very often now. I salute her and all of those splendid ladies.

  8. Totally agree Martyn.

    I exhort other readers to join the Free Speech Union – they are doing great work fighting back against all this pervasive controlling BS. On Anzac day, I was thinking that they are one of the few groups left in NZ today who represent what the Anzacs stood for. Equality and a fair go. The right of all New Zealanders to be heard and to engage in genuine debate.

    They are not politically aligned and need support both monetarily and as advocates to do this on behalf of all New Zealanders.

  9. The Vice Chancellor of AUT is Damon Salesa, and regardless of his links with the Labour Party he should be stood down if he is the the person responsible for denying women’s voices in 21st C New Zealand.


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