The chancellor of Massey University has announced a review into the process surrounding the recent cancellation of Don Brash's appearance at a student politics club.

Massey University Chancellor Michael Ahie said the Council of Massey University was undertaking an independent review into the process surrounding the cancellation of the former National Leader's appearance on the Manawatū campus.

"The Council has already expressed its support and confidence in the Vice Chancellor and it is now seeking a review of the processes involved in the issue so that it can fully understand the lessons learned and have clarity over future events," Ahie said.

The review will be undertaken by Douglas Martin, a former Deputy State Services Commissioner.


Martin was scheduled to report his findings and make recommendations to the University Council by the end of November.

Martin's terms of reference for the review will focus on the performance of the University in arriving at and managing the consequences of the decision.

"As such, it will encompass all aspects of organisational performance and a summary of the findings will be released in the public interest," Ahie said.

As details of the August cancellation became public, Brash told the Herald he was "stunned" by the last-minute decision and he called for Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas to resign over her "totally misleading" explanation.

Thomas cited security concerns in halting the speech but documents released under the Official Information Act (OIA) painted a different story.

Documents revealed in an OIA request, by right-wing blogger David Farrar, documents show that security was not the main concern, with Thomas saying she didn't want a "te tiriti led university be seen to be endorsing racist behaviours".

Brash told the Herald the emails showed "weeks and weeks" of planning had gone into trying to ban him from the campus.

"I knew nothing of this until the day before the speech was due to take place," Brash said.


"I think she should very seriously consider her position as vice-chancellor, she has seen to be totally misleading, if not lying."

At the time the university had responded that while the Vice-Chancellor was first advised of the event several weeks beforehand, the concern about the security threat was genuine.

"She held concerns because of the upset that a previous visit by Hobson's Pledge representatives to campus had caused but had been prepared to let it go ahead under conditions the students had signed up to," the spokesman said.

It was when a security threat was raised that Thomas made the decision to cancel the booking.

"Despite what others have claimed, the concern about the threat was genuine. Professor Thomas has subsequently said the University is reviewing how staff assess security threats at its campuses."