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SocietyOctober 2, 2019

No place for racism: an open letter from University of Auckland staff

The University of Auckland clocktower (supplied)
The University of Auckland clocktower (supplied)

Members of the university community on the re-emergence of white supremacist posters and stickers on campus, and the response from the vice-chancellor.

A university is a shared idea. We are not simply an institution with policies and processes, or an employer with employees. We are a community dedicated to the creation, preservation and sharing of knowledge. We build our collective understanding of the world and ourselves, while nurturing innovation and maintaining what is best in our society.

Given the nature of this place – and any university worthy of the name – no one person can truly speak on behalf of us all. However, the signatories of this letter declare that racism and white supremacy have no place at the University of Auckland.

Unfortunately, as has been covered in Craccum, The Spinoff and elsewhere, posters and stickers have recently appeared on campus drawing attention to the webpage of a group that aims to recruit “young white men” who will “re-tak[e] control of [their] own country”.

We have no difficulty in identifying this group and such displays as white supremacist in nature. Likewise, it is easy to state that the sentiments and ambitions it expresses are at odds with our nation’s foundation via Te Tiriti o Waitangi, however imperfectly observed: we never were a country for white men. Making this identification – along with an understanding of where such sentiments can lead – is part of the professional expertise of many scholars and students here at the University of Auckland. Finally, as human beings we clearly see that these sentiments are at odds with the norms of decent behaviour.

We understand the “absolutist” position that some take that freedom of speech extends to the right to speak in ways that are hateful. We also understand that the language of rights is complex and nuanced, recognising that such displays create an environment that brings harm to segments of our community, fraying the cultural tapestry that provides our diverse campus community with vitality and energy. We also note that by virtue of their race, gender, class, country of origin, religious affiliation, sexual or gender identity, many people empowered to judge conduct on university campuses are less likely to be the focus of hate speech, and may be slower to recognise its impact on its intended targets. However, “speech” has many forms, including gesture and nonviolent protest. If these posters constitute “free speech”, the same can be said of the actions of individuals who remove those that they encounter.

Finally, let us make this clear: these posters and the people who created them do not represent this university. As staff, students and alumni of the University of Auckland, we work to ensure that such sentiments do not take hold on campus. Our goal is to ensure that everyone who comes here flourishes within an environment that celebrates free and open enquiry, teaches the lessons of the past, and builds a better future for all.


Richard Easther, Professor of Physics

Shaun Hendy, Professor of Physics

Peter Hunter, Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering

Brian Boyd, Distinguished Professor of English

Marston Conder, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

Cather Simpson, Professor of Physics & Chemical Sciences

Jane Kelsey, Professor, Faculty of Law

Tom Bishop, Professor of English

Rosalind Archer, Professor of Engineering Science

Merryn Gott, Professor of Health Sciences, School of Nursing

Anthony Masamu Poole, Professor of Biological Science

James Sneyd, Professor of Mathematics

Juliet Gerrard, Professor of Biochemistry

Neil Broderick, Professor of Physics

Dr Tara McAllister, Te Pūnaha Matatini

Greg Anson, Associate Professor, Exercise Sciences

Dame Anne Salmond, Distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology

Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori

Julie (JR) Rowland, Associate Professor, School of Environment

Tracey McIntosh, Professor in Indigenous Studies

Sir Peter Gluckman, Distinguished University Professor, Liggins Institute

Kate Hannah, Te Pūnaha Matatini

Siouxsie Wiles, Associate Professor, Molecular Medicine and Pathology

James Curran, Professor of Statistics

DrHeloise Stevance, Research Fellow in Physics

Frederique Vanholsbeeck, Associate Professor, Physics

Anoma Ratnayake, Faculty of Sciecne

JJ Eldridge, Senior Lecturer in Physics

Cate Macinnis-Ng, Associate Professor in Ecology

Suzanne Purdy, Professor of Psychology

Cushla McGoverin, Senior Research Fellow in Physics

Reza Amani, Research Fellow, Physics

Craig Stevens, Assoc ProfPhysics

Van Wijk, Kasper, Physics

Elizabeth Peterson, School of Psychology

Sarah Cowie, Senior Lecturer Psychology

Mark Harvey Senior Lecturer, Creative Arts and Industries

Elizabeth Peterson, Senior Lecturer School of Psychology

Duncan McGillivray Associate Professor of Chemistry

Giovanni Russello, Professor, School of Computer Science

Ian Lambie, Associate Professor of Psychology

David Krofcheck, Senior Lecturer in Physics Physics

Michael Davison, School of Psychology

Vivien Kirk Associate Professor of Mathematics

Liana Ball, School of Computer Science

Debbie Haefele, School of Computer Science

Chun Yan Lo, PhD student in Computer Science

Vivian Nayon, Accountant, Faculty of Science

Ankita Gangotra, PhD Student Physics

David Tse Jung Huang, Computer Science

Ulrich Speidel, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science

Gerald Weber, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science

Virginia Braun, Professor of Psychology

Tristan O’Hanlon, Professional Teaching Fellow, Physics

Mariam Almasri, Professional Staff

Kerry Gibson, Associate Professor in Psychology

Tanya Evans, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics

Thomas Lumley, Professor of Biostatistics

Kirsten Locke, Critical Studies in Education

Trudie McNaughton, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Equity

Clark Thomborson, Professor, School of Computer Science

Patricia Riddle, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science

Anthony Lambert, Professor of Psychology School of Psychology

Negar Zoka, Technical Staff, Physics

Fiona Jack, Senior Lecturer, Elam School of Fine Arts

Claire Postlethwaite, Associate Professor in Mathematics

Tanya Carter, Faculty of Science

Melinda Webber, Associate Professor, Te Puna Wānanga

Emma Willis, Senior Lecturer in Drama

Sibley Chris, Professor of Psychology

David Coppin, Research Fellow in Physics

Barry Hughes, Psychology

Nicolette Rattenbury, Professional Teaching Fellow, Mathematics

Nigel George, Director Psychology Clinic Science

Ben Mallett, Research Fellow Photon Factory

Reece Roberts, Research Fellow, School of Psychology

Sam Manuela, , Lecturer in Psychology Psychology

Douglas Elliffe, Professor of Psychology

Dr Steve Wells, Department of Physics

Tom Hinton, Research Fellow in Computer Science

Tia Reihana-Morunga, Dance Studies

Thegn Ladefoged, Professor of Archaeology Anthropology

Tariq Khan, Research Programmer

Jason Tutara, Kaiārahi, Te whare Putāio

Matheson Russell, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Stuart McNaughton, Professor of Education and Social Work

Steven Dakin, Professor of Optometry & Vision Science

Katie Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor of Health & Physical Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Claude Aguergaray, Senior Research Fellow, Physics

Thomas Lacombe, Research Fellow in Computer Science

Michelle Burstall, Senior Tutor, School of Psychology

Bryony James, Professor, Faculty of Engineering

Vanya Kovach, Philiosophy

Karen Fisher, Senior Lecturer, School of Environment

Chris Martin, A/P Philosophy

Paul Heyward, PTF, Learning, Development and Professional Practice

David Welch, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science

Stephen Davies, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

Catherine Qualtrough, Te Pūnaha Ātea

Jonathan Kim, Computer Science

Mateja Gosenca, Research Fellow in Physics

Shahna Haneef, Research Fellow in Physics

Quentin Atkinson, Professor of Psychology

Suzanne Woodward, Professional Teaching Fellow, School of Social Sciences

Nikki Moreland, Senior Lecturer in Immunology

Martin Urschler, Computer Science

John Harvey, Professor of Physics

Alex Shaw, Lecturer, Computer Science

Peter Wills, Theoretical Biologist

Marco Bonesi, Senior Researcher in Physics

Jess Aitken, Research Fellow, Psychology

Ewan Tempero, Associate Professor, Computer Science

Meg Parsons, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management, School of Environment

Campbell Jones, Associate Professor, Sociology

Anahera Morehu, Faculty of Business and Economics

Jason Tam, Honorary Academic in Department of Computer Science

Steffen Lippert, Department of Economics

Brian Carpenter, Professor of Computer Science (Retired)

Avril Bell, Associate Professor of Sociology

Andrew Jull, Professor, School of Nursing

Lara Greaves, Lecturer, Politics and International Relations

Esther Fitzpatrick, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Raamy Majeed, Lecturer in Philosophy

Luke Goode, Associate Professor, Media and Communication

Joerg Wicker, Lecturer in Computer Science

Nicola Gavey, Professor of Psychology

Alice Mills, Senior Lecturer, Criminology

Yezhou Liu, Computer Science

Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, Associate Professor in Sociology/Criminology

Alan France, Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences

James Cooper, School of Computer Science

Simon Barber, Te Tomokanga Fellow, Sociology

Janet S Gaffney, Professor, Educational Psychology-Literacy

Victoria Smith, Professional Staff

Liz Beddoe, Professor in Social Work

Arie Rosen, Law

Sean Sturm, Lecturer in Higher EducationFaculty of Education and Social Work

Jesse Hession Grayman, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies

Samantha Stronge, Research Fellow in Psychology

Thomas Gregory, Politics and International Relations

Constanza Tolosa, Senior Lecturer in Languages Education

Cathy Gunn, Associate Professor at CLeaR, FESW

Daniel Heke, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Te Amorangi, Kaimanaaki, Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori

Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Associate Professor Development Studies

Caroline Blyth, Senior Lecturer in Theological and Religious Studies

Patrick Girard, Philosophy

Padraic Bartlett, Mathematics

Sione Ma’u, Lecturer in Mathematics

Grace Gordon, Professional Teaching Fellow, Criminology

Ciara Cremin, Sociology

Anastasia Ejova, Psychology

Klaus Bosselmann, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law

Vincent Ng, Research Fellow, Physics

Shannon Walsh, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology

Littlewood, Michael, Law

Tracey Whare, Lecturer in Law

Julia Tolmie, Law

Kylie Chye, Faculty of Science

Octavia Calder-Dawe, School of Psychology

Eve de Castro-Robinson, Associate Professor in Composition, Creative Arts and Industries

Jane Norton, Law

Neal Curtis, AssocProfessor in Media and Communication

Nickola Overall, Professor of Psychology

Terence O’Neill, Director Student Equity

Jay Marlowe, Associate Professor of Social Work

Vivienne Elizabeth, Sociology & Gender Studies

Penelope Mathew (Law)

Jerry Lo, Professional teaching fellow in Social Work

Elle Musoke, Doctoral Candidate in Mathematics

Kim Locke, Mathematics

Chip Matthews, Professional Staff

Barry Milne, Director, Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences

Fabio Morreale, Lecturer in Music

Craig Radford, Assoc Prof Institute of Marine Science

Aaron Wilson, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Prue Taylor, School of Architecture and Planning

Claire Donald, Senior Lecturer, CLeaR, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Boyd Taylor, Professional Staff, Institute of Marine Science

Jonny Stephenson, Professional Teaching Fellow in Mathematics

Ian Hyslop , CHHSWK / Faculty of Education & Social Work

Georgina Liversidge

Brendon Dunphy, School of Biological Sciences

Emily Kendall,, Doctoral Candidate in Physics

Stephen De Pledge, Senior Lecturer, School of Music

Nicola Paton, Social and Community Health

Liza Bolton, PhD student in Statistics

Andreas Neef, Professor in Development Studies, School of Social Sciences

Jenny Hare, CHSSWK

Riki Taylor, School of Environment

Deana Lado, Mathematics Professional Staff

Annie Bartos, School of Environment

Ward Friesen, Associate Professor of Geography

Alessandro Premier, Architecture and Planning

Phil Kane, TFC

Yichen Qian

Allen Bartley, Head of School – School of Counselling, Human Services & Social Work

Monique Jonas, School of Population Health

Morgan-Jean Butler, Faculty of Medical and Health Science

Linda Tyler, Associate Professor, Convenor of Museums and Cultural Heritage

Steve Matthewman, Sociology

Jaime Rowntree, GSC Institute of Marine Science

Allyson Davys, Senior Lecturer Social work, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Yanshu Huang, Faculty of Arts

Joanna Manning, Law

Sina Greenwood, Mathematics

Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, Architecture and Planning

Toni Bruce, Professor in Education and Social Work

Richey Wyver, Sociology department

Alexis McCullough, Libraries and Learning Services

Stephen McTaggart, COMPASS Research

Meg Jacobs, Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Jeremy Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History

Danny Osborne, School of Psychology

Leonie Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Music

Libby Passau, International Office

Aaron Paterson, Lecture in Architecture , Architecture & Planning

Julia Gatley, Associate Professor of Architecture

Nicoletta Rata

Elizabeth Aitken Rose, School of Architecture and Planning

Tim Baice, Academic Staff, Education and Social Work

John Fenaughty, Counselling, Human Services and Social Work

Damon Ellis, Digital Learning Team, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Lyndsay Blue, Senior Tutor Geography

Nicholas Rattenbury, Physics

Andrea Mead, Professional Teaching Fellow in Psychology

Rachel Simon-Kumar, School of Population Health

Anna Hood, Faculty of Law

Mark Wilson, Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science

Josh Tupene, Accommodation

Jennifer Frost, Associate Professor of History

Debbie Hager, Lecturer, Social and Community Health

Ursula McIntyre, Education and Social Work

Mary Moeono-Kolio, Criminology

Hanna Wilberg, Associate Professor in Law

Treasa Dunworth, Law

Nalei Taufa, School of Psychology

Mark Barrow, Dean, Education and Social Work

Margaret Tibbles, Libraries and Learning Services

Cronje Paea, Tuākana Biology Coordinator, School of Biological Sciences

The above is a snapshot of signatories as of noon, October – for the full list see the original letter here

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