Withdraw trespass orders against the 9 members of Victory Christian Church
In 2015, when the protection and preservation of Constitutional and basic Human Rights are respected and protected with such passionate vigilance in New Zealand, it is both astonishing and extremely concerning, that a public University, an environment known for tolerance, acceptance, respect and appreciation of all legal forms of diversity, has readily issued 'trespass orders' against nine members of a local evangelising Christian Church.
Palmerston North's Massey University has publically issued these orders against members of Victory Christian Church, citing 'concerns over the member's behavior' having been 'raised over several years'. Despite no officlal complaints having been laid, the University Student Association President Linsey Higgins claims many students would be relieved by the University's decision?
On the contrary, many students who were deceptively greeted with Massey's website's opening 'About' declaraton "we embrace diversity", are now discovering that such diversity does NOT include legal Biblical Christian Evangelism, and are now legitimately deeply concerned at the Univesity's obvious breach of the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 sections 14, 15 and 20, as well as the NZ Human Rights Act 1993 section 21.
The Christian Evangelism team in question, which includes some former campus students, were apparently simply exercising, on a public university, their NZ Bill of Rights freedom of expression, including the freedom to 'impart information and opinions of any kind in any form', and the right to 'manifest that person's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private'.
Since when did such legal, peaceful, and good-willed practice of ones priceless democratic rights, become warrant for 'trespass orders' by a public education institution? Furthermore who will be the next target of their intolerance, discrimination and aparent villification - muslims seeking to share their faith on campus, or members of the homosexual community seeking to inform others about sexual diversity? Will the University also issue trespass orders against such groups because 'some people have commented that they don't feel comfortable' by their approach? What about those on campus seeking to inform people about abortion options, or veganism? Will individuals even be issued trespass orders for inviting campus students to a night club if some people are uncomfortable with their approach?
Of course not! New Zealand citizens would never stand by and tolerate such blatant breaching of our Bill of Rights and Humans Rights Acts, and such direct contradiction to everything we stand for as a Democratic and diversity-embracing Nation.
On the other hand, if the university does not follow through and issue trespass orders against any other individual or group on campus, whose approach may be making others feel uncomfortable, this is undoubtably a disgraceful case of double standard religious and minority discrimination.
The facts are, the NZ Bill of Rights Act and the Humans Rights Act, apply to every person in New Zealand, whether you are 'comfortable' with other's freedom of expression and impartation or not.
Massey University and UCOL, who seems to have been inflated with discrimatory confidence by Massey's undemocratic actions, ought to immediately retract the abhorrent trespass orders and issue a public apology to Victory Christian Church and their Evangelism team, alongside a public demonstration of embracing their diversity.
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Massey University and Palmerston North UCOL