24 Mar 2015

University bans church members from campus

7:32 pm on 24 March 2015

A group of church members has been banned from Massey University's Palmerston North campus, after reports they were harassing students.

Massey University

Massey University Photo: 123RF

The university is finalising trespass orders against nine members of the Victory Christian Church, a Pentecostal church that has a subsidiary branch called New Zealand Campus Ministries Trust.

University spokesperson James Gardiner said concerns over the members' behaviour have been raised over several years and, while no formal complaint has been laid, the university decided it needed to take action.

He said the members have no reason to be on the campus and students should be able to walk around campus without feeling harassed.

Some students have reported being harassed by church members and being told they would go to hell if they did not join the church.

Massey University Student Association President Linsey Higgins said many students would be relieved by the university's decision.

"We have had informal concerns raised with us about this group for a while now," she said.

"Some people feel that the way they approach people can be isolating or pressuring, and some people have commented that they don't feel comfortable."

Attempts to contact the church have been unsuccessful.