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Massey litigation to proceed

The Council of the Association of University Staff (AUS) resolved today to proceed with litigation against Massey University.

The Association has challenged Massey’s current ‘repositioning’ project on the basis that, contrary to the Education Act, the University Council had not ensured that all academic bodies within the university had been properly consulted, nor the academic consequences of the decisions properly debated and considered, before it agreed to the ‘repositioning’ proposals.

AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, said in Wellington today that Massey University’s lawyers had argued successfully that if AUS wished to halt the process temporarily pending the outcome of the hearing, both AUS and the two members in whose name the case was being taken, would be required to give an undertaking for damages.

“The outcome was that if AUS held the process up in this way and lost the court action, we would be facing a damages bill of up to $600,000. We therefore decided to proceed with the action but not to give an undertaking for damages.

“AUS was successful, however, in resisting the University’s attempt to make two members of the Association, in whose name the case is being taken, pay damages if the case was lost,” said Mr Crozier.

“The judge determined that to have agreed with the University on this would have been oppressive.

“The judge also confirmed that the case involves issues of principle with an overlay of public interest.

“We anticipate that the matter will be heard in the Wellington High Court on 6/7 September,” said Mr Crozier.

Rob Crozier
Executive Director

Contact: 021 375 661

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