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University must condemn 'civil war' statement

Dr Wayne Mapp - National Associate Spokesman for Treaty and Constitutional Issues

31 August 2004

University must condemn 'civil war' statement

National's associate spokesman for Treaty and Constitutional Issues says the University of Auckland must distance itself from the extreme and divisive comments of one of its senior professors.

In a submission to the select committee looking into the proposed foreshore and seabed legislation, Professor Margaret Mutu said that the proposals would lead 'inevitably to civil war'.

"On questioning Professor Mutu was adamant that a Palestinian-style insurrection would break out in the North with all the violence that that entails," says Dr Mapp.

Professor Mutu is a senior academic at the University of Auckland.

"It has been six days since she made these comments. Her statement has been condemned by everyone except her employer who has declined to comment.

"The university has a responsibility not only to distance itself from these remarks but to condemn them.

"One wonders what kind of message she is giving to her students.

"When similar comments were made by the Chief Executive of the Maori Language Commission, the Commission was quick to condemn them and an apology was forthcoming.

"We're on a slippery slope if our premier academic institution allows its own staff to make such dangerous and inflammatory statements without consequences," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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