The Free Speech Coalition is planning legal action against Massey University Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas after Don Brash was disinvited from an event on campus.
Dr Brash is a member of the coalition, which formed in protest to an Auckland Council decision to deny a venue to far-right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.
- Don Brash's free speech group raises $50k to sue Auckland Council
- Controversial Canadian speakers cancel NZ event
He had been scheduled to speak on Wednesday as part of a series of debates, but was disinvited on Tuesday morning.
"I got the invitation two and a half months ago. This morning I was advised I should not be on campus due to security concerns," he said at the time.
"I was asked to talk about my time in Parliament, and why I should be banned is entirely unclear," he told Newshub.
- Don Brash 'uninvited' from Massey University speaking event
- Cancelling Don Brash event an 'overreaction' - Jacinda Ardern
- Don Brash 'optimistic' about New Zealand after free-speech row
Later investigations revealed the concerns centred around one Facebook post and a comment suggesting a gun be brought to the talk.
Dr Brash told Newshub he would have attended the event anyway as he did not believe the threats to be at all credible.
"I certainly would have gone, because I don't regard them as serious at all. It's a kind of nonsense abuse on social media unfortunately," he said.
"Interestingly the vice chancellor said herself she did not consult the university constable or the police about those issues before deciding to cancel the event so I don't think that she even herself saw them as a realistic threat."
The Massey University corporate communications director said those comments were considered "enough red flags to tip the balance" in the eyes of the Vice Chancellor.
He told Newshub that Massey University did alert the police about the comments, but by that point they had already decided to cancel the event because they "needed to act quickly".
Coalition member Jordan Williams told Newshub the threats were not credible and the university was using health and safety as an excuse to ban Dr Brash.
"The coalition has resolved that contingent on raising the money we're going to be issuing proceedings against the Vice Chancellor of Massey University," he said.
"It's not good enough that the university relies on what appears to be a single Facebook post that on the face to if looks to be not much of a threat at all, without consultation from police to try to ban Don Brash from speaking."
The coalition plans to incorporate the suit with an existing one levelled against Auckland Council for cancelling the venue for the Mr Molyneux and Ms Southern.
Spokesperson Stephen Franks said it will target the misuse of health and safety as a reason to cancel events. According to Mr Franks only some of the $50,000 raised to take Auckland Council to court remains and it will be used in the new suit.