The University of Auckland Council has chosen to defer making a decision on whether it will divest from fossil fuels.
However, the council says it will 'consider' the issue further, which student group Fossil Free UoA says is progress, albeit limited.
Student representatives brought the issue to a meeting on Monday 7 December, presenting a report promoting divestment from fossil fuels, as well as a petition signed by over 2800 students, staff and alumni asking for such a divestment.
"This is a sign of progress, albeit slow progress," said Alex Johnston, spokesperson for Fossil Free UoA.
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"The opportunity is there for the University of Auckland to join benchmark universities such as Victoria University, Australian National University and London School of Economics by putting its money where its mouth is on climate change and divesting from fossil fuels.
"There is much to gain by divesting and much to lose by not doing so. It will help fulfil the University's Strategic Plan to be a sustainable university of international standing, but avoiding it puts the reputation of the University at risk.
"We look forward to working with the administration to help the University of Auckland come out on the right side of history."
Ecostore CEO Malcolm Rands, among the prominent alumni who signed the petition, said "it is time for leaders to be...well, leaders. As one of the principal thought leaders in New Zealand I thoroughly support my old alma mater, the University of Auckland, doing the right thing and divesting from fossil fuels."