Further proof today from the NZ press today of the layers of racism that pervade New Zealand’s society, and that the concept of multi-culturalism is dead in the water in the youngest country on earth.
A new poll shows “Maori dislike Asian immigrants more than any other group of New Zealanders” and they blame them for taking jobs, driving Maori to Australia and not not showing due reverence to the much maligned Treaty of Waitangi.
Massey University’s pro vice-chancellor, Professor Paul Spoonley said:
“The diversity of New Zealand is beginning to undermine the investment we have in biculturalism. [Maori] don’t believe new migrants are sympathetic to biculturalism and the Treaty…surveys show Maori have an increasingly negative perception of Asians. It is caused by “competition in the labour market . . . and competition for cultural resources”
Maybe that’s because in most highly developed first world countries, very few people favour bi-culturalism over multi-culturalism?
“According to an Asia NZ Foundation survey, Maori views on Asian immigration have deteriorated in the past year. While most New Zealanders increasingly saw the benefit of Asian immigrants, 44 per cent of Maori believed New Zealanders were more negative towards people from Asia compared with a year ago.
That is well above the 27 per cent of all New Zealanders who are less positive towards Asians than last year.
A majority of Maori also believed New Zealand was allowing too much investment from Asia.
While having no particular issue with Asians, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira (whose policies include restricting immigrants from buying homes and requiring them to build) said Maori are worried about the effects all immigration has on the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand.
“I think Maori are specifically concerned about immigration. They don’t see that the Treaty is being properly protected. If more and more people come here that don’t know about it, then there is the likelihood that less people will want to care about it. But Maori people do,” Harawira said.
Census 2013 figures show 598,605 people of Maori ethnicity living in New Zealand, the second largest ethnic group in the country, after pakeha, with 14.9 per cent of the population.
The Asian population is now New Zealand’s third largest at 471,711, according to the census. It has grown from 6.6 per cent in 2011 to 11.8 per cent in 2013.
Spoonley predicts that within the next two decades the Asian population will be larger than the Maori population…” source Stuff.co.nz
Asians now make up the largest group of new immigrants in New Zealand and have overtaken the traditional haul from Britain.
It has been stated that within a few years Maori will form a smaller cultural group in NZ than people from Asian countries. Maori also fare better in Australia than they do in New Zealand and make up a larger proportion of the Kiwi population there than they do in NZ.
How foolish is it then for NZ to continue its racist bi-cultural policies, why shouldn’t all New Zealanders be treated as equals, why should it matter what their ethnic origin is, or the colour of their skin?
It seems that the problem here is not the number of non-Caucasian migrants coming in to New Zealand but the treaty of Waitangi – a contentious document that has caused nothing but friction between Maori and Paheka ever since it was signed in February 1840. Its signing is solemnly revered on New Zealand’s national day ever since.
‘He iwi tahi tatou’ obviously doesn’t extend to others, especially Asians.
The above is a title of a tumblr blog, its raison d’être is
This blog is a safe space by and for people of color where they can share their experiences with everyday, subtle racism, or racial microaggressions. Our main goal is to help people of color feel supported and validated in dealing with this insidious, and often far more damaging, form of racism. White people are welcome to follow.
Here are some of the posts made about New Zealand. It seems that E2NZ.org isn’t the only site bringing this issue to light. We’re honored to see these first three comments were copied from our What’s it like to Live in NZ? page.
New Zealand is full of rednecks, the accents are awful, and they think their country is special because it’s mostly full of boring flora and fauna, and because they have a supreme rugby team. Most New Zealanders are ignorant as they haven’t even set foot outside of the country and don’t know shit about the beauties of the world other than their small, isolated island. They’re mostly racist and highly sensitive about their culture as well since they’re jingoistic, nationalist morons, therefore if you don’t like crappy homegrown Kiwi music or you ridicule something about them, they’ll scorn you with the old redneck phrase “well if you don’t like it you can get aouut!”. There are many good things about New Zealand, but unless you’re coming here to retire or for a holiday, get out as soon as you can, I’m finishing uni here soon and I can’t wait to leave.
My friend who emigrated from England (Asian) with her English husband and children went back to England. They stayed here for 2 years and the problem started from her son’s first school. He was bullied as ‘nigger’, she went to school to talk about it with his teacher. Her response was using nigger was nothing wrong in New Zealand. She was appalled by the response and in the end she pulled her son out of the school.
My own experience observing a school reading class. I visited a Catholic primary school (NZ catholic school is not a private school) with my daughter. An older female teacher was talking about books. While she was talking, she mentioned ‘negro’ became president in the USA. That must have been in 2008, I guess when Obama was elected. She didn’t show any emotions, but simply put the word ‘negro’ 3 times. There was no explanation about the historic event. The kids were about 10 or 11. There were some Indian, Asian kids as well.
I asked a couple of people whether the term ‘negro’ is okay to use in New Zealand.
One woman told me, yes. It seems the word came back to use these days. Obviously in her friend’s circle they use it. Other people said ‘no’. Definitely not in classroom!
Could the teacher at my friend’s son’s school defended other students who bullied him ‘nigger’ as not ‘bullying’ because ‘negro’ is okay to use?
I remember even a minister using the word ‘negro’ in a normal conversation.
Anyway, I observed a teacher who was not happy with Obama’s win at all and told her kids ‘negro’. I could tell she was not amused about the historic event.
I came to NZ in my early teens, went to school and university there. Things were slightly different back then, since there weren’t that many eastern asians (chinese, koreans, japanese). But things were changing over time, more asians came in, most of us work hard, pay tax and make contribution to the society. However, I do have to point out that there are some that came in with tons of cash, and are ignorant, refused to learn the language. That’s probably where racism came from. Also as a small country, it is understandable that the flood of asian people do pose a thread, and insecurity.
Had my own experiences of working in NZ for few years upon graduation. I noticed that there were hardly any asians at the top management level, many of us were just put into some bottom positions for years and years, regardless of our achievements. Not only the asians noticed that, but also my co workers from england, they told me that asian talents are much better treated and appreciated in the UK.
For the past 5 years, I had lived in europe, did more studies and learned to speak more european languages. It is not uncommon to find educated people in europe speak at least four languages, which is a bit amusing that people get judged only by their english language skills in NZ. During these 5 years, I had never encountered any racism towards asian perhaps in the whitest countries possible. I love NZ, but not sure if I would ever come back any more.
My friend went back to England with not so good memory of New Zealand people.
The land is beautiful sure, but the people are confined in an ignorant bubble. There wasn’t a day that passed that I didn’t experience snide remarks (I’m a black student) or witnessed oppressive treatment of Asian students. For eg, during a group exercise, my 3 group members asked “So tell me, are all black people ghetto? And will I get beaten up for asking?” Honestly, I had enough of their crap, and left the country.
I encounter racism often when I go to shops and cafe/restaurants by the staff. The way they treat me is surely different from the way they treat other non Asian customers. Cold, rude, reluctant service offer, bad tone… not only the tone. Of course, not everybody is like that, but I see them nearly every time I go out. I don”t know what they do with coffee and food when they don’t like me. I’ve in fact had horrible coffee. Not only these, you get bad/slack/no service etc… I wonder what happens in the health system. I wonder whether I would get treated equally in the health system, rest home etc…
I am a bit worried this kind of thing might lead this country in a bad shape in the future. I used to get hurt almost every time whenever I go to shop, cafe etc… but, in the meantime, I could ignore them, but still it is not nice feeling.
YES, NZ people are quite racist. South Island (more farmy, ignorant folk) has more racist people. Further south you go in North Island the more racist it is. Younger people and old folks are the most racist. I’ve been told to go back home at least once. At school been called racist names (not only by other kids but by other teachers too). Stared at endlessly while walking in town, staying at camp sites or going anywhere in general. Been yelled at while walking down the street minding my own business. At petrol stations, few times was not allowed to fill the tank (even though the pump was not Pre pay) while others happily filled their tanks. This is just the typical experience of a non-white living and working in NZ.
New Zealand was the first place that I experienced overt racism. I lived there from the ages of 10-14. The first thing I noticed was that “races” didn’t mix in the schools. White people would NOT socialise with non-white people, though soon enough they would accept one or two token non-whites into their groups. I had just come from a very mixed school, so I found this baffling.
There were a couple of white girls (who were also 10) who tried to bother me in my first year there. One of them told me: “Your skin is the colour of shit.” I found this laughable at the time (and said something much worse to her), but the constant racism – particularly the microaggressions – soon got to me.
Everywhere in the media (TV, magazines) and in real life, I was constantly exposed to messages that “white” features were beautiful. I became ashamed of my skin colour, my hair texture, my Indian features, my name, my culture, my family. I wanted to be white, to look white. I used to get my hair thinned out because it was too big and frizzy (not white enough). I read a lot of books with white main characters and internalised a lot of racism that I am still unlearning.
In college (that’s high school in NZ), I got told once during sports class that “you throw like a Sri Lankan”. Again I found this absurd and laughable, but these people were totally serious. My friends were all Asian, mostly Sri Lankan. Self-segregation is a big thing in NZ.
I lived in the UK for a while (and visited Australia) much much later, and I saw the similarities in white people’s racism in all these countries. In the UK I constantly have this experience, that when I’m talking to a white person, their eyes glaze over as if they don’t really see me. They won’t carry on a conversation longer than a few sentences, as if they’re anxious to escape. They are supremely uninterested in me. I thought perhaps it was a personal thing – that I wasn’t being interesting enough – but I noticed that this happened to one of my Chinese friends, and she was one of the most interesting, friendly and beautiful people I’d ever met. This, I believe, is a hold-over from their days of self-segregation in schools. This is the same reason minorities become ghettoised. I find that these three countries practise a uniquely vile form of white supremacy, and are some of the most dangerous places for people of colour. I could write volumes on the racism I experienced in my few months in the UK.
I was lucky enough to leave the toxic environment in NZ in a few years’ time. At the time, I didn’t want to leave. Due to my internalised racism, I thought this was the best country to live in, that if I work hard enough I could shed my identity and be recognised as a real (white) person. I feel so much grief to think that some of my people were not able to leave, and are still fighting for their dignity today. Looking back on it, after overcoming all these feelings of inadequacy, I am astonished at the fact that I felt like *I* should be ashamed for the racist things people said to me. It is clearly THEIR shame, not mine.
I think my parents must have had some terrible experiences as well (though they never talk about it), because my mother has always urged me to keep my head down and not to express any part of my culture (like wearing Indian clothes or a bindi). She didn’t feel safe enough to express her culture either.
As for the Maori people, I received nothing but kindness and hospitality from them. I admire them for their continued resistance against the white supremacist policies of their colonisers.
more here This is Everyday Racism
Metiria Turei and Russel Norman, co-leaders of the Green Party of New Zealand both want cannabis de-criminalized, despite believing “a drug free lifestyle was the healthiest.” According to Stuff:
Turei pointed to changes in legislation controlling the drug in other countries such as the US where States such as Colorado have recently decriminalised cannabis.
Cannabis was also a topic at the recent Ratana celebrations at the weekend…
You can read more about the Ratana ‘sect’ here.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about how interested parties were watching the success of the legalization of the drug in Colorado, USA and sizing up its tourism potential for New Zealand. Read New Zealand Yet to Follow Colorado In Legalising Cannabis – CO State tourism backs off promoting the drug.
Fred Macdonald, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party spokesman, also spoke at the Ratana festival, making references to the use of cannabis anointing oil (or Kaneh Bosem) during the time of Christ in Judea. Some proponents of medicinal cannabis even theorize that Christ used the oil to effect miraculous cures.
Does that sound to you as if people are promoting biblical purveyors of Snake Oil to suit their modern day agenda? It wouldn’t be the first snake oil to come out of the NZ. But, here’s the interesting question – would it be marketed as 100% Pure and what mark-up will that attract?
According to Stuff:
“Macdonald argued that legalising cannabis would earn more revenue for the Crown and see fewer people imprisoned. He said the drug was used as a medicine in the time of Jesus Christ and called for decriminalisation.
“Just get on with it, stop making our cannabis convicts political prisoners because that’s what’s going on. The war on drugs, it’s just a whole lot of bullies . . .,” Macdonald said.
Labour MP Shane Jones then spoke out against the comments in his own speech shortly after. Jones said drugs and alcohol were a major problem in Maori communities and a religious celebration on a marae was not a place to associate Jesus with cannabis, praise its potential or argue for decriminalisation…” more here
But drugs and alcohol are a major problem in non-Maori communities too, its just that Maori people are more likely to be imprisoned for it than Pakeha. Perhaps that is why Metiria Turei wants it legitimized? Maybe it would be better to first resolve New Zealand’s dirty little problem of institutionalized racism?
Cannabis destroys lives
“On the 7th of May 2009 Senior Constables Len Snee, Grant Diver and Bruce Miller arrived at 41 Chaucer Rd in Napier to serve a search warrant on Jan Molenaar for the growing of cannabis. This was just a routine warrant, something they had done countless times.
What was meant to be an ordinary procedure turned into three of New Zealand’s darkest days and ended with one police officer dead, two officers critically injured and a member of the public fighting for his life.
In some fifty hours Jan Molenaar made a permanent and devastating imprint upon the national psyche of New Zealand as he changed the lives of individuals, families, a police community, and a city…
Siege. A trailer for the dramatization of the Napier cannabis siege may be found here. Who said no-one ever died from cannabis?
Just in case you missed it in your corner of the world.
The above screenshot is from DJ Neill Andrew’s Facebook page, posted on 30 December.
Andrews owns Wellington’s Famous nightclub. Guess that’s one to leave off the NZ ‘to do’ list? Absolutely, positively.
Other articles about Indian nationals in New Zealand:
Immigration New Zealand Shatters (Indian) Migrants’ Holidays & Future (Indian workers prevented by Immigration New Zealand from re-entering New Zealand)
For all our articles about racism please click: HERE