Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke is giving moral support to the sacked Auckland University lecturer Paul Buchanan.
“It would be very sad for this country to lose such a valued contributor to the public debate in New Zealand,” Mr Locke says.
“Too few academics have Mr Buchanan’s knack of expressing complex ideas in ways that excite and inform ordinary people. I have really appreciated Paul’s incisive contributions on security and intelligence matters, and the human rights issues they raise.
“The very bluntness that many of us appreciated in Mr Buchanan’s commentary now seems to have got him into trouble with the university authorities.
“Academic freedom goes hand in hand with robust debate, and I would ask the Auckland University authorities to re-think its position, and consider the options short of dismissal that still remain open to it in Mr Buchanan’s case.
“Most of us, at one time or another, have sent off an intemperate email, only to later regret it and apologise.
“There is no question, from the students I have talked to, that Mr Buchanan is one of the most loved lecturers in the university. He is challenging and provocative — but by being so, he has stimulated many young minds.
“The university administrators should perhaps be showing more consideration and care for the wide group of students at postgraduate and thesis level, who stand to be seriously affected by Mr Buchanan’s sudden dismissal.
“Beyond the ivory tower Mr Buchanan has made a major contribution to the public discourse on important issues. We would all be the poorer if he leaves the stage,” Mr Locke says.