The groundswell of support for burgled professor Anne-Marie Brady continues to build, with nearly three dozen University of Canterbury academic staff calling on the government to protect the China researcher.

Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury, has been subject to an apparent campaign of criminal harassment this year following the publication of her "Magic Weapons" paper detailing China's campaign of influence in New Zealand.

Police and the New Zealand Security and Intelligence Service have spent nine months investigating break-ins at her home and campus office, a probe that earlier this month widened to include concerns from her mechanic that her car had been tampered with.

A total of 35 University of Canterbury academic staff - including dean of law Ursula Cheer and head of political science Linda Kenix - co-signed the statement which said they took reports of harassment against Brady "very seriously".


"We support Professor Brady's continued request for police protection for herself and her family. Academic freedom means no individual or their family should be placed in danger because of their research."

Brady told the Herald she made multiple request for protection to the NZSIS and police but they had been ignored. The NZSIS did not wish to comment on the matter, while Police said last week they were aware of her concerns and "she has been provided advice".

The University of Canterbury statement follows an open letter published on Monday, signed by 29 academics and civil society figures including Amnesty International New Zealand, calling on the Prime Minister to break the governments' silence on the case and affirm academic freedom.

The statement welcomed remarks from Jacinda Ardern earlier this week - in response to the open letter - that "I absolutely defend the rights of academics to utilise their academic freedom ... They should continue to be able to do their work, and with freedom from repercussions from this government or any other government" but urged further action to protect Brady and inform the public.

"We join in [calling] on the New Zealand government to be transparent in any outcomes of the investigation regarding the case of professor Brady".

To date official comment on the nine-month investigation has been limited to a brief statement from police to the Herald in September, which said they had "positive lines of inquiry" and Interpol were involved.