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A Left-Right Ranking of Universities in NZ: a Practical Guide for Students and Parents

Here is my subjective ranking on a "most-left" to "most-right" scale of most of our major NZ Universities, with some anecdotal (and at times amusing) evidence to back up the claim.


Extreme Left

Auckland University of Technology

Evidence

The Dean of its Law School, Khylee Quince, responded to King's Counsel, Gary Judd, who expressed the view that some of its courses are more about "indoctrination" than learning law, with the line that he & his "friends can go die quietly in the corner". AUT's Vice Chancellor is quiet on the matter. Why does AUT even have a law school? Since when is law "technology"? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology doesn't have a law school. You don't study law at a place with "technology" in its name.


Far Left

Massey University

Evidence

Its Vice Chancellor, an Aussie, banned Don Brash from speaking on its' campus in 2018. Even PM Arden at the time called it an "overreaction on the part of the university". Being told off for being too left by our former Labour PM who was President of the International Union of Socialist Youth is quite an achievement.


Very Left

Otago University

Evidence

It installed former Labour Party Finance Minister Grant Robertson as Vice Chancellor & has former Labour Cabinet Minister, Clare Curran, on its governing Council. Professor Michael Baker, who is also there, became a key part of Labour's Covid Messaging, Marketing and Communications strategy. Everywhere you look, Otago is a veritable swarming nest of Labourites. Strange given that its surrounded by salt-of-the-earth Southland famers.


Left

Victoria University

Evidence

It is located in Wellington Central - now a Green Party stronghold. Not only that, but it's also surrounded by tens of thousands of bureaucrats. If they weren't left-wing before the 2023 election, they sure as heck will be now, having been laid-off by the new Coalition. Victoria cancelled a debate that had five speakers on the basis that two of them were suspected of having right-wing views, namely Free Speech Union president Jonathan Ayling and the NZ Initiative’s Dr Michael Johnston. What was Victoria complaining about? That balanced, informed debate is offensive? Even being fair to both sides is too much for Vic for swallow. Being named after Queen Victoria, the Empress of India, and ruler of the British Empire, must really grate on many of its "stakeholders".


Centre (?)

Canterbury University

Evidence

It keeps its nose out of trouble & has a strong engineering school - engineers being largely solid, hard-working types who have little time for the antics other students get themselves into. I also have a young student friend who was in Canterbury's Gravity & Cosmology group who has just topped his class at Cambridge and is about to start a PhD with the best folks in the world in Quantum Physics at Oxford, so Canterbury is on fire as far as I'm concerned.


Centre (?)

Waikato University

Evidence

Its Vice Chancellor, Neil Quigley, hired former National Party Cabinet Minister, Steven Joyce, to give it advice, paying nearly $1 million to Joyce's advisory firm. Waikato wants a new medical school. Not joining other universities who've defined themselves as National, ACT & NZ First Party haters will help it get one. Sir Anand Satyanand, our impressive former Governor General is its Chancellor - he moderated a free speech debate I organized at Auckland University in which Brash spoke after Massey cancelled him. Its former Chancellor was National PM Jim Bolger. Being in dairy-land also does Waikato's non-leftist credentials no harm, though the fact it graduated Ardern weakens its case. It gave a Distinguished Alumni Award to Shane Legg, the co-founder of the Artificial Intelligence revolution - he started DeepMind. The award was purely on merit. It was not on based on any political considerations, like so many prizes nowadays. Waikato may have more to be proud of than any other NZ university right now. Legg received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the UK government, yet has not been honored by his own (NZ) one.


Right (?)

Lincoln University

Evidence

With courses like "The Diploma in Farm Management" that "covers all aspects of agribusiness management, including land purchase & ownership, agricultural law, labour management and law, financial & taxation management, investment analysis & machinery ownership" its hard to imagine its students could be left of center. What's more, the following graduation-day photo with blue banners, kilts & bagpipes gives it away:


I better not rank the University where I work, Auckland, since that would lead to accusations of bias.

4 Comments


pammamumma
May 07

Spot on.

Many a true word hath been spoken in jest. Shakespeare, King Lear.

Like

annzer
May 07

I will never forgive Stephen Joyce for setting up the LGFA. Mp's dipping into universities in the political after life grates with me.

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ojenn
May 07

If Waikato is a "little bit right" then I am way out past Genghis Khan.

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Max Ritchie
Max Ritchie
May 07

Diplomatic as ever, Rob. Waikato a little bit right? Who’d have thought?

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