New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has questioned the media's role in pressure that caused a controversial European Students Association club to disband.
People sat in the aisles of a Victoria University lecture theatre to hear Peters speak tonight, breaking into applause when he entered.
His speech addressed the Government's policy to raise the age of retirement - telling the young audience to not believe those who said the future was unaffordable.
And in a lively 30 minute question and answer session after his speech, Peters said the mainstream media couldn't be trusted to reliably inform.
"I don't know if you saw in Auckland University recently, the European club got shut down. No doubt you all followed it," Peters said.
"Isn't it amazing. You have got the Maori club, you've got the Chinese club, you've got every sort of club."
Peters said the Auckland University Students Association had made no comments supporting fascism or the Nazis, yet was effectively condemned by the Herald and others for not speaking out against fascism.
That showed the mainstream media's desire to suppress dissenting voices, he said.
The European club's withdrew its application to affiliate with the University of Auckland after criticism and fears it was a thinly veiled white nationalist group.
In a Facebook post the president of the fledgling club wrote it had become dangerous to continue in the face of "appalling rhetoric" and unfounded accusations of racism and racism.
He said the group rejected the "slanderous" accusations again it and said it had always been open to anyone of any ethnicity, viewpoint or belief.
Earlier, Auckland University Students' Association president Will Matthews said he was deeply concerned about the views and purposes of the group.
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy also fired a warning shot saying she would be keeping an eye on the group.
'DON'T BELIEVE WE CAN'T AFFORD THE FUTURE'
Peters' speech rallied against the economic direction New Zealand had been steered in under both National and Labour, "elite" Maori, and high immigration among other topics.
He attacked the Government's policy, announced this week, to increase the eligibility age for NZ Super to 67 in 20 years' time.
"They say that you are going to live longer. Well, if you know anybody in the medical profession they will tell you that there is a tsunami of medical conditions coming in this country and the very idea that we are going to have an ageing population may well not be true."
New Zealand could greatly increase its GDP, Peters said.
"When they say we can't afford the future, what they are really saying is, 'We are so hopeless at running the economy we have got no confidence in how well we will do into the future."
Peters fielded questions on the South China Sea, TPP, the Middle East, West Papua, the housing crisis and what the weirdest photoshop Peters had seen of himself on the internet.
"Maybe I'm too embarrassed to tell you," was the answer to the photoshop query, before Peters warned the young audience to think twice what they put on social media.
"Whether they say it's a matter of privacy or not, if I was hiring you I'd like to know what you were like back then, and I'd just trawl through."
Peters finished his talk with more advice, telling the students that being "footloose and fancy-free" at university would be the greatest time of their life, and they should pursue happiness in life so long as it wasn't to the detriment of others.