Don Brash denies supporting far-right Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux

Don Brash has denied supporting far-right Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.
Don Brash has denied supporting far-right Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. Photo credit: AAP/Newshub.

Don Brash says the Vice Chancellor of Massey University is "totally wrong" to call him a supporter of far-right Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.

Dr Brash was scheduled to speak at a university event on Wednesday before it was abruptly cancelled due to "security concerns".

Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas says she had been made aware of threatening comments on social media, and that the university did not have sufficient security measures to ensure the safety of everyone attending.

"I made the decision - it was not an easy decision at all - based on my concern for potential violence on our campus," she told RadioLIVE hosts Ryan Bridge and Christine Rankin.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Vice Chancellor Thomas called Dr Brash a "supporter" of Southern and Molyneux, whose speaking event at The Powerstation on Friday was cancelled.

Dr Brash strongly denies he supports the pair. They are both known for their hostile views of Islam, and Molyneux holds the controversial and widely disproven belief that intelligence is tied to race.

"That's absolute nonsense," Dr Brash told RadioLIVE.

"I'd never heard of them prior to being banned by Phil Goff, to be frank. Did I intend to hear them? No. Did I agree with their views? I didn't even know what their views were.

"But I hold very strongly to the view that people should be free to express their views."

While he declined to call Vice Chancellor Thomas' claim defamatory, he said it was "totally wrong".

"I think it's a serious accusation, and I'm very dismayed by it."

He says he supports the pair's right to speak freely, hence why he threw his support behind a move to take the Auckland Council to court over not allowing them to use council-owned venues.

Vice Chancellor Thomas declined the opportunity to apologise to Dr Brash on-air

She also said that Dr Brash's views on the Treaty of Waitangi are incompatible with Massey, which undertook a new initiative in 2017 to communicate that the university is "Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led".

Dr Brash says he's "appalled" at the cancellation of Wednesday's event, saying Vice Chancellor Thomas has set a dangerous precedent.

"She threatens one of the most important values in a democratic society, the right to express your own opinion," he said.

"I think that's a very sad thing, particularly from a university Vice Chancellor."


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