'We stand against what he represents': Don Brash heckled at Auckland University speaking event

Protesters have disrupted a debate Don Brash was taking part in at Auckland University, telling him his "hatefulness against Aotearoa is horrible" and preventing him from speaking.

The demonstration comes after his planned speech at Massey University was cancelled by the vice chancellor due to security fears, after threatening comments were made online.

The cancellation has been criticised as an attack on free speech, and the Auckland University debate was organised in response.

However it was marred by ugly scenes on Thursday night, with protesters immediately heckling him over a megaphone as he attempted to take part in the debate.

"We stand against what he represents! We stand against racism!" one woman chanted, with another soon taking over to speak to Dr Brash in Te Reo.

"Your hatefulness against Aotearoa is horrible," another protester said. "Hate speech is not free speech."

Earlier, they had sung Māori waiata - a clear dig at a number of controversial comments he has made about Te Reo and racial inequality in New Zealand.

A clearly disgruntled Dr Brash soon went to sit down, as every attempt to speak was thwarted by the protesters.

However, those demonstrating were clearly outnumbered by those wanting to hear him speak - and that was reflected in the crowd's response, with a "Don Brash" chant soon starting up in the lecture hall.

When the protesters finally relented, Dr Brash was able to speak and claimed victory over those demonstrating against.

The lecture theatre ahead of the debate.
The lecture theatre ahead of the debate. Photo credit: Angus Dowell / Supplied

"You protesters have absolutely affirmed the case for the affirmative," he said. "You prove my case. I haven't had this much fun in a long time."

"You don't want to debate the issues, you just want to shout your opponents down."

Once Dr Brash finished speaking, the protesters left the event.