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"Watch out" students tell Hubbard

Fri 10 Dec 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard will be told to "watch out" by the Auckland University Students Association over a statement he made in his mayoral capacity suggesting gays are more likely to abuse and murder their children, and urging MPs to vote against the Civil Union Bill. "We're really gutted about it, mainly because the students association supported Dick Hubbard when he was going for mayor," says AUSA President Kate Sutton. "Young people supported him for mayor, and he needs to be careful what he says on social issues." The voluntary association, which has 20,000 members, supported the passage of the Civil Union Bill and both straight and gay members have actively campaigned in favour of it. The AUSA is equally upset that the statement was co-signed by Michael Brown in his capacity as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Maori) of Auckland University, saying both Brown and Hubbard have not taken into account what the majority of students think. "It's really upsetting that there's been so many villains in this [debate], and it's nasty that some have been part of our university community," says Sutton. "We considered Dick Hubbard and his wife part of the wider university community, and obviously the Pro-Vice Chancellor as well." "We will write and say we're disappointed that these people didn't look to the community who they're a stakeholder of. We get it a lot with academics in particular, they use their positions to push agendas, and they don't realise the ramifications of using their names and positions." Simon Randall, a spokesman for gay student group UniQ, echoes the dismay. "We're disappointed and surprised by the letter, especially considering AUSA has a policy in place supporting of the Civil Union Bill. Polling amongst young people indicates wide support for the Bill."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 10th December 2004 - 12:00pm

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