Auckland University of Technology 'considering' dean of law Khylee Quince's 'die quietly in the corner' Facebook post

  • 10/05/2024
Khylee Quince.
Khylee Quince. Photo credit: AUT Law School

The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) says it's "considering" a controversial social media post made on the private account of the school's dean of law. 

It infuriated the Deputy Prime Minister, who said Khylee Quince "does not represent New Zealand or what we expect in our tertiary institutions". 

Earlier this week, a post from Quince's private Facebook page was circulating. The post said: "I suppose it was inevitable that one of the old racist dinosaurs would make a pathetic squeal in an attempt to preserve the status quo... Mr Judd and 'matauranga Maori is not science' friends can go die quietly in the corner." 

Quince was referring to a column by Gary Judd KC, in which he detailed his reasons for complaining about law students having to undertake compulsory tikanga Māori studies from next year. 

An AUT spokesperson said emotions "run high on issues as important as Te Tiriti o Waitangi and, by extension, the NZ Council of Legal Education's decision to introduce Tikanga Māori requirements into the university law curriculum from January 2025". 

"The words used on this personal Facebook post have offended some people and we are considering these matters." 

Quince was also approached for comment. 

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters condemned the compulsory tikanga Māori studies. 

"The tikanga regulations will compel law students to be taught that a system, which does not conform with the rule of law, is nevertheless law which should be observed and applied," he said in a statement. 

"Law students should not be force fed this kind of woke indoctrination from some culture warrior's slanted version of what tikanga means." 

But Jane Kelsey, a University of Auckland emeritus professor of law, told the NZ Herald her students "embraced the richness" of the approach. 

"It is now reflected in our courts as well, recognising that tikanga is not just another system of law but one that Te Tiriti said would continue to operate alongside the common law."