NZ Pharmacies Accused of “Underpaying Employees” Exposes Reddit NZ’s Ugly, Anti-Indian, Xenophobia and Racism

Small mindedness can be quite a problem in New Zealand

A few days ago NZ online magazine, Pharmacy Today, published an article naming 10 Auckland pharmacies accused of underpaying employees.

Wed 26 April 207

The Labour Inspectorate general manager George Mason confirmed to Pharmacy Today this afternoon that the Inspectorate has filed a claim at the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) against ten South and West Auckland pharmacies for breaching their obligations as employers to pay minimum wage, holiday pay and keep proper records of employment…

According to Companies Office records, Neeten Bhikha, Kerry Oxenham, and Rakesh Patel are registered as directors of all 10 pharmacies. Mr Patel is also a shareholder of all 10 pharmacies, Mr Bhikha of seven and Mr Oxenham of nine…

The pharmacies the Inspectorate has filed claims against are:

* Avondale Community Pharmacy

* Bairds Rd Community Pharmacy

* Family Care 7 Day Pharmacy

* Mangere Community Pharmacy

* Otara Community Pharmacy

* Ratanui Community Pharmacy

* South Seas Community Pharmacy

* Takanini Community Pharmacy

* Victoria Community Pharmacy

* Waiora Community Pharmacy

Interestingly, Kerry Oxenham, hometown Tauranga according to Facebook,  and the owner of Leadbank Pharmacy in Manurewa, (according to LinkedIn) has been in the news before. Here are some images of him:

A Google image search for Kerry Oxenham

Total Healthcare, a primary health organisation (motto “improving community health“) mentions that Mr Oxenham is one of their trustees –

The PHO is a leading commissioner of health services to patient populations in the Auckland region. We work with our clinics  to ensure you have access to affordable and high-quality services, and that the clinics you attend largely meet their targets in clinical and social service delivery.

Total Healthcare has achieved significant recognition from the Ministry of Health, the National Health Board and the DHBs as an organisation that embraces new opportunities and maintains a strong focus on improving access to high-quality health services for high needs patient populations…” source

And the website lists Mr Oxenham as a director of 30 companies from 1 February 2007 to 22 December 2016.  Twenty eight appear against a Howick address and two in Manukau. The companies include Whangarei community pharmacy limited (22 Dec 2016) and Warkworth community pharmacy (9 Oct 2015).

Whangarei Community Pharmacy’s registered office address is Unit 11, 42 Ormiston road, Otara and 2 directors are listed besides Mr Oxenham – Rakesh Patel and Neeten Bhikha, Warkworth Community Pharmacy is registered at DFK Oswin Griffiths Carlton Ltd, of Symonds Street, Auckland and also lists the same three directors.

Vaccinations in pharmacies

Unrelated to the above article, E2NZ is putting together an article relating to funding and privacy concerns (GP disclosure for funding reasons) for pharmacy vaccinators. Send us information if you have it.

New Zealand’s ugly side displayed on Reddit New Zealand

Unsurprisingly, the story about the Auckland pharmacies allegedly underpaying staff was discussed on reddit New Zealand.

The responses it generated illustrate the level of racism and xenophobia – both within the industry (one of the posters below is a pharmacist)  and the wider community. Furthermore, the community appeared to have already passed judgement on the guilt of the accused, based on nothing more than some of their Indian-sounding names.

Evidently, this was ok with the sub’s moderators, despite the sidebar rules about hate speech and bigotry. But so much goes unchallenged in New Zealand because its perceived as normal…like everyday racism

RNZs rules

Not Safe for Work

Here’s the screen shots of the reddit New Zealand thread (link is to a cached version) …be advised some of the language used, and the derogatory remarks about Indians and Chinese, are likely to offend most fair minded, rational people. Comments with the most likes are displayed first:

Everyday, casual racism in the NZ community

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6 thoughts on “NZ Pharmacies Accused of “Underpaying Employees” Exposes Reddit NZ’s Ugly, Anti-Indian, Xenophobia and Racism

  1. The creep who said “the profession is troubled by immigrants bring (sic) their country’s work ethics with them. Commonly these ethics are somewhat incongruous to ours” needs to go look in a mirror. He’ll see his own ethics staring right back at him.

  2. Pharmacy prices are incredibly high in New Zealand and people are getting rich from it Most of us can’t afford to be sick here. I think it’s about time the government took control of the industry and properly policed prices and pay.

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