3News Asks: “Is New Zealand a Racist Country?” : Yes, “Just as bad as South Africa”

Is New Zealand a racist country

The 3News Poll shows people think NZ is a racist country

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.

3News says

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.

Selvanie Naidoo

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.

Brian James Gower

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!

Kelly Henderiks

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)

Jason sinclair

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.

11 thoughts on “3News Asks: “Is New Zealand a Racist Country?” : Yes, “Just as bad as South Africa”

  1. Racist country? Generally not! A small minority of people here are. If you are a foreigner, come to church. You are loved no matter your skin color and they will make you a leader. Jesus died to bring all people together into unity. Diversity in unity is supreme! The one percent or the fly in the tea cup, they spoil it for every one. My flatmate is Maori. My other flatmate is Aussie. We get along because we are one blood, united. As for jobs, preference to kiwis makes sense. I’m a white New Zealand born citizen and can’t get a job. I’m sure glad it isn’t because they are given to foreigners. Put New Zealanders first, keep it that way. Very sorry to hear over seas visitors treated less. We are all one blood, let’s show kindness to all.

  2. From an Australian perspective the previous comments are very informative, I’ve often wondered whether or not inter-racial relations in NZ as harmonious as Kiwis claim, or a model for the rest of the world to imitate.

    P Ray’s comments are interesting, the emphasis on institutional “bi-cultural” NZ seems rather, well, hare-brained and offensive as it explicitly excludes non-European and non-Maori New Zealanders, it’s well past its “use-by” date. I’m amazed that New Zealanders haven’t got the message yet. It appears, from this side of the Tasman, that they’ve painted themselves into a policy corner. Is that an accurate impression?

    Hypocrisy, particularly over racism, is a universal phenomenon.


    I’m too scared to even holiday in NZ now, after all those alarming reports of violence against tourists.

    • You have to be as careful there as you would anywhere else in the world. Make sure you have insurance, keep your wits about you and leave your valuables at home.

  3. I am from Africa and when I first came to NZ I really used to watch my mouth and kept my opinions to myself as I had heard that NZ did not tolerate racism. What a joke that’s turned out to be. NZ is far more racist than where I come from. People,especially the NZ women are unbelievably rude and judgemental about outsiders. Its so narrow minded and arrogant. I have been shocked.

    • Here’s another article to reinforce that opinion, if you judge it from the comments that they ALLOWED to be printed.
      What is rather strange, of course, is that for such a so-called “multi-cultural”(at least when it comes to advertising, in the news alone it is usually referred to as “bi-cultural”) country,
      the other type of relationship: Asian Male – White Female … is certainly not talked about AT ALL.
      Very non-racist and inclusive indeed 🙂

  4. I noticed the comment from Chris, I’m Australian and a few years ago decided to investigate the possibility of migrating to NZ, I was interested in learning the bad news about NZ, so I reviewed the Kiwi MSM and sites like E2NZ. The amount and intensity of Oz-bashing was a very unpleasant surprise, of course it’s not usually technically racism although it has the same corrosive effect on people’s self esteem. In my experience there’s no equivalent in Australia, probably because most Australians don’t care about NZ one way or the other, the great ‘Australia-NZ rivalry’ is a product of the Kiwi imagination and is mostly confined to rugby fans.

    There’s definitely a ‘sour grapes’ component to many of the anti-Australian comments, significantly it’s not just the uneducated, people who should know better seem to find Oz-bashing irresistible. It’s possibly a product of the steady economic decline of NZ relative to Australia.

    Of course I might have gained the wrong impression, however I wasn’t prepared to take the risk.

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