The man who lit the The fuse that led to Don Brash's ban from speaking at the Manawatū campus of Massey University does not regret and denies threatening anyone.
"Kardinal" Karl Pearce said the students who organized it were naive if they thought there was no possibility of conflict in the event, but never intended to do anything other than wave a poster and make a statement in protest.
Pearce's letter to Deputy Chancellor Jan Thomas urged her to throw away the complement of the event, a widely condemned call as an attack on freedom of speech.
Pearce said he supported his decision, but that the commentators misinterpreted what he wrote if they thought it was a kind of security threat.
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" Remember in light of his kind of 'Freedom of expression' does not come without consequences, 'he wrote.
Pearce said the consequences he was talking about were the wound and possible reaction against the vilified by the type of "separatist" and supremacista "de Brash rhetoric"
The students have responded to the action of the university by organizing a protest to be held on the esplanade starting at 11:00 am on Wednesday.
It is promoted as "protest censorship of freedom of expression", arguing students have the right to make a decision about the problems.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called the refusal of Massey to receive Brash as an "overreaction".
Ardern said that over the years there were numerous examples of politicians and former politicians talking on college campuses, often causing "a stir."
"This seems like an overreaction."
The university considered granting additional security, but decided that the risk of harm to students, staff and the public was too high in the context of Brash's "support" for controversial Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.
Thomas said he supported freedom of expression on campus, but was totally opposed to hate speech.
Free Speech Coalition spokesman David Cumin said Thomas' capitulation to veiled threats about the consequences of the protesters was "shameful."
"Universities financed with public funds in New Zealand and throughout the Western world have a proud tradition of defending freedom of expression.
" If we allow the "veto of the interrupter" to close the contentious speech in a university, a place that should be a bastion of free expression, what hope can we have for freedom of expression elsewhere? "
ACT leader David Seymour got into the debate, calling for Thomas's resignation.
He said the former governor of the Reserve Bank and the leader of the opposition should be able to speak and express views with which some might disagree.
Seymour said Education Minister Chris Hipkins should stop funding universities that do not protect freedom of expression.
Hipkins said that although the vice chancellor's decision was not the one he had made, the university had the autonomy to do so.
He said universities should have a very high threshold to allow freedom of expression and a solid debate.
Hipkins said threatening university funds would be, in itself, a violation of his autonomy.
Thomas said the university's decision was not just about safety.
"Mr Brash's leadership over Hobson's Promise and the views he and his supporters embraced in relation to Maori halls in councils was clearly a concern for many staff members, particularly Maori staff.
"In my opinion, the opinions The members of the Hobson Commitment express a very dangerous opinion about hate speech. Certainly they are not conducive to the university's strategy of recognizing the values of an organization run by Tiriti or Waitangi.
Brash has entered the university for not defending freedom of expression.
"I think the position of the vice chancellor is a shameful contradiction of the role of publicly funded universities in organizing a solid debate and the free exchange of ideas."
He noted that the university canceled the reservation not only for security reasons, but for his participation in the Hobson Promise, his views on Maori wards in councils, and the concerns of "incitement to hatred".
Brash said he supported the right of Southern and Molyneux, whose commitment to speak in Auckland was canned amid security concerns, to express their views. This was not the same as backing their views.
"It is clear that the thugs have been emboldened by the capitulation of the Auckland Council to the demonstrators of the Southern / Molyneux event, which is why we continue our fight to defend freedom of speech."
Brash said he was also scheduled to participate in a debate at the University of Auckland on Thursday.
"We now fear that the University of Auckland also gives in to the vocal minority, committing to provide a safe environment for freedom of expression, lest it trigger a domino effect that erases the long tradition of free expression on university campuses."
The Debates Society of the University of Auckland confirmed that the debate would continue.
"We think it looks like an incredibly interesting event," said its president, Chris Ryan.
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The spokesman for the Massey University Policy Society, Michael Curtis, said members were disappointed and a little surprised.
They invited Brash to talk about his time in politics, but questions could arise about his role in Hobson's Pledge.
Curtis said they were not overly concerned about safety, but considered it wise to warn that some people were threatening to cause problems.
"We feel that I should have been able to move forward, but we respect that it is the executive decision of the vice-chancellor to take."