A University of Auckland senior staff member has been fired after trying to shake hands with a female Muslim student.
The ousted staff member then filed a complaint of sexual discrimination against her after she refused to shake his hand.
A newsletter from vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon directed to all university staff said the academic had tried to shake her hand with the knowledge that it would be inappropriate.
"He did this knowing that she would consider it culturally or religiously inappropriate to have physical contact with a man who was not a close relative," the statement read.
"When she declined to shake his hand, he made a complaint of sexual discrimination against her."