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
New Zealand’s 3News is asking its audience to vote on the question “Is New Zealand a racist country?”
WE know it is, YOU know it is. What 3News’ viewers think is shown in the graphic above. It looks like an overwhelming Yes.
Race relations has long been dry tinder in New Zealand, ready to spark debate at a few inflammatory words.
From first contact, when Abel Tasman and Maori clashed in Murderer’s Bay in 1642, the meeting of different cultures and world-views in this country has caused tension. This year we’ve had debate around Richard Prosser’s “Wogistan” column, Danish MP Marie Krarup’s view that a Maori powhiri was “uncivilised and grotesque”, statistics showing Maori youth apprehended by police are more likely to be charged than Pakeha youth, an apology and $170m compensation for Tuhoe, and the United Nations calling our race relations “best practice”.
So race relations are never far from the headlines… or dinner table conversation.
Does this country need to take a good hard look at itself when it comes to how we treat other ethnicities? Or are our race relations something to be proud of?
You may find the poll here.
New Zealand reneged on the Gleneagles Agreement
In 1981 New Zealand was the only country to allow the apartheid regime of South Africa to play rugby with it, in what became known as the Rebel Tour. The tour was in direct contravention of the Gleneagles Agreement, ratified by New Zealand in 1977.
The Gleneagles Agreement arose after the public outrage at the New Zealand All Blacks tour of South Africa in 1976, causing 28 countries to protest the tour and boycott the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. (NZ won no medals at that games).
Present Prime Minister John Key was quoted around the world as having no opinion on the 1981 rebel tour which divided his country, and conveniently ‘forgot’ his stance on it on a number of occasions . This has caused him to be dubbed “amnesic” and castigated internationally for not including any anti-tour representatives in the delegation to the recent Nelson Mandela memorial and funeral.
Read Unequal New Zealand in the Huffington Post, and World’s Press Blasé About John Key: David Cameron’s “Unidentified Guest”, Misses Out on Obama’s Selfie.
Here’s some of the responses that were left on the 3News website, including confirmation that the N word is used with total freedom within New Zealand. One person even says that racism in New Zealand just as bad as South Africa, showing that the spirit of the South African 1981 apartheid rugby tour of New Zealand is still alive and well many years later.
Most certainly, New Zealand is a racism, small minded country. I come from South Africa, the most racist place in the world and I escaped it 5 years ago to come to a country that is just as bad. I am brown skinned and every day I am treated like an inferior.
New Zealanders are rude and arrogant as well, not all, but the ones that I encounter set a bad example for the rest so what am I to think. Just this morning, I was trying to get into the lane to get onto the motorway and no one would let me in and then I got the finger for pushing my way in, wow small minded and completely shut off from the rest fo the world.
I never get promotions at work even though I am far more qualified and experienced because I am a different nationality and race. White New Zealanders look at me like i’m an intruder but Maori people have always been welcoming and nice. However the most racist are white New Zealand woman….and I have travelled to many countries and they are top of the list….I will always be an outsider and never be part of greater New Zealand becuase I am the wrong colour for New Zealand.
My friend is from Czechoslavakia and can barely speak English and has only been here one year but she is already married to a New Zealander, has lots of NZ friends and has a far better job than me. Go figure….
Aotearoa is full of xenophobes and racists that cloak themselves in pc-isms to conceal the core of intolerance that eats away at this beautiful land. That is what is rotten in New Zealand.
From uk ( white Londoner, British through and through), and NZ is without one of the racist nations I have ever been too, shame on kiwis!!
I was working in California USA for 6 months. Now I am in Nelson NZ. I felt more comfortable moving in the streets of california than streets of Nelson.
We left NZ because of the racism and now live in Aussie. I’ve been living all over the world and the racism was the worst I’d come across. I got fed up of the constant racism against the Aussies both in the workplace, at school, on TV and radio, etc. Constant jibes that I was told was reciprocated in Aussie. Well, I’ve been here for 9 months and I haven’t heard a single, solitary anti-Kiwi jibe or comment. It’s not reciprocal and is totally racist but the Kiwis don’t realise how much they are hurting Aussies who live in NZ. It spoils the country: so stop!
i believe we are a racist country. however this is only because our country is so diverse, because new zealand is made up of many different cultures and religions. Adults and some children acept the fact that we are so diverse others dont agree with nz being a multi cultural environment and bully kids mostly teens because they are different but as we progess through life we learn to acept these facts .
Kelly Henderiks-Year 10 (Second year of college/High school)
New zealand is definately a racist country. But the funny thing is we use it for humor more than discouragement. In my school All ethnicities are mixed around and we joke about someone being black or white and nobody cares. I call my mate the “N” word like sup nigger and i’m white. he doesnt find it racist cause it’s like saying sup brother. or sup g. i’s just another greeting. that i say to someone reguardless if they are black or white. white people say nigger or fucking maori. and black people say stupid pakeha or white bitch. who cares? have a laugh once in a while.
This says an awful lot about NZ’ and its education system. It makes Mississippi seem world class
Yea ah racism is only against people nigga’s and garden hoe’s not peeps jackass.
It’s scientifically proven that black’s and brown’s are genetically inferior. If black people didn’t cheat in sports then we wouldn’t need to call them athlete’s. They were made by god to be slaves to the majority. or else angels wouldn’t be white, and demon’s wouldn’t be black.
Tema (a Pacific Islander)
I am a 15 year old girl and I am a P.I, born and raised in New Zealand. My family and I recently moved into one of the smaller areas in New Zealand and there’s not much “brown” people here in this place and so the people here are not really use to “brown” people.. I attend an all girls school of over 1000 pupils and over half the girls here are Pakeha. There’s about 20 P.I’s and Maori girls out of those 1000+ girls. I thought New Zealand was not a racist country until 1 one day I was walking to catch my bus. I went to go pull my bag up, but accidentally touched the Pakeha girl who was walking next to me on her hand. I apologized but she made this ‘sound’ as if she were disgusted that she touched me, a girl of brown skin. So she wiped her hand on her jersey and moved closer to the fence and walked faster. In my head I was thinking, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. I’ve had many other incidents (it’s only my 2nd term at this school) where I’ve been called “black” by girls sitting right next to me who think they’re whispering. Which does not at all define who I am. I’ve noticed that some my teachers are more willing and helpful to other girls in the class but when I ask for help, they don’t give it to me as best as they do to the other girls (who are pakeha) and seem angry every time I ask for help (which isn’t often). Coming from the capital city where there is plenty of P.I’s, Maori’s and alot of other cultures, to such a smaller area that is basically isolated to “browns”, I’ve really noticed the difference. So, yes, I do believe New Zealand is a racist country.
- Welcome to a new series called Quotes of the Day.
Today’s quotes were taken from an article in the UK Huffington Post. The first is about growing inequality in New Zealand. The second condemns Prime Minister Key for not sending any anti-apartheid activists to Nelson Mandela’s funeral and for his “amnesic position” on apartheid.
Unequal New Zealand
During the period when Key and others in the banking industry were making their fortunes, NZ went from being one of the most equal countries in the developed world to being one of the most unequal, a trend that is continuing under Key’s government. The OECD credits changes in taxation and labour law for the dramatic changes in the distribution of wealth
Key unconcerned by apartheid
Hypocritical and revisionist, perhaps. In an entirely different category, however, is the apparent indifference demonstrated by the New Zealand prime minister, who refuses to even discuss with the media his stance on apartheid at the time of Mandela’s imprisonment.
Prime Minister John Key of the conservative National Party will be attending the funeral as the leader of the NZ delegation. Yet Key is irritated by the fact that media continues to ask him about the issue.
“I’m not going to bother going into it,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast, a morning news show, after being pressed on Monday once again about his attitude towards apartheid in the early 1980s.
“I was about 20 years of age, I had a whole lot of other things to do at the time.”
Read the full article here http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/yasmine-ryan/apartheid-new-zealand_b_4411734.html
- Mandela delegation right mix, says PM (radionz.co.nz)
- New Zealand lawmaker going solo to Mandela service (star-telegram.com)
- New Zealand Activist Heading to Mandela Service – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Harawira making own way to Mandela funeral (nzherald.co.nz)
- Key stands by Mandela funeral delegation decision (nzherald.co.nz)
- ‘Distinguished’ NZ politicians head to Mandela service (stuff.co.nz)