Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.
Today’s tale was published recently on an immigration forum and speaks of the racism often directed towards British people in New Zealand
“I wont say where i work, but in central govt, but on a few occasions recently where i have dealt with Maori on the phone i have been told
“You Poms know nothing, get lost you dont belong here”
& “I want a Maori and not some Pom to speak to, not some foreigner”
NZ is the only place where reverse racism is allowed it seems.
My boss just said “Pass them onto the Maori team”
I’m not a super lefty like most Welly folk, but the number of people who earn $80k plus a year for being Maori is an utter disgrace. No one should be paid that much for leading a waiata, blowing a shell once in a while and having lots of meetings with other Maori friends. Its a waste of money. As bad as the whole quota system in South Africa.
Probably the thing that annoys me most about NZ is all the guilt about the Treaty and forced use of Maori culture. Reparations are fine, but the token jobs and different (lower) standards for Maori staff is just wrong. Maybe its just where i work. ”
If i walked into a bank and asked for a staff member of a certain race/colour i’d be escorted out by security in no time!
EDIT – I forgot to add that in my line of work i deal with Kiwi’s of a range of backgrounds, Samoans, Aussies and Americans, often in person – but i have only ever had abuse from Maori. Regardless of what race/nationality someone is, that behaviour is unacceptable, yet NZ seems to condone it from Maori, or brush it under the carpet. I treat people with respect and expect the same in return. I was very annoyed with my boss for brushng these incidents under the carpet as it’s plain wrong.
I know more than most about NZ history…i work as an historian. That clause about principles of the treaty in most job descriptions is meaningless, other than giving the govt the opportunity to make jobs especially for Maori. Its effectively a quota system. The Treaty didnt say give Maori jobs for the sake of being Maori and allow them to abuse others who arent Maori. I am not saying all Maori interactions are like this. Most i have met are fine, but some have a serious problem that no amount of reparations can fix. Some people must live a very sheltered life to claim they only want to interact with Maori. A document from 174 years ago has hardly any relevance today, apart from the forced efforts of the NZ Govt. Waitangi Day is a disgrace. The way the PM gets treated, he should just not bother turning up. Its not a day of celebration, just a day of guilt. Sooner the Waitangi Tribunal is wrapped up the better.
It is important for prospective migrants to know that the international image of NZ having a great relationship with Maori is totally warped. It’s no marriage made in heaven. More like a broken marriage with both parties having seperated.
Oh and with the complaint to my manager, after i kicked up a fuss he responded to the Maori complainant to say their behaviour was not on and if they have a ‘real’ issue take it up with the minister (like he/she would care). I was just annoyed that i had to force him to make that decision.
The Treaty isnt a piece of legislation, thank goodness for that. Its the liberal folk in NZ that created the “principles of the treaty” rubbish we have to suffer with now. The Waitangi Tribunal is more than enough of a concession to Maori, which is fair enough. Land was taken and should be given back with a limited amount of money if a serious greivance can be proved.They need to set a cut off point and get the claims out the way as soon as possible. Some Maori have been clever with the use of their reparations, such as devloping land in the Waikato (Te Rapa), good luck to them. Investing in the Warriors Rugby team wasnt so good for whichever tribe that was.
It’s the attitude problem, jobs for Maori and token gestures i cant stand. Maori with no knowledge of their job getting promoted over more qualified people is what will lead to a real brain drain in NZ. Hard to feel sorry for Maori if they are as prejudiced as the people who colonised them in 1840. They should be subject to the same expectations and laws as any other person in NZ. Their culture being treated the same as anyone elses. Chinese and Indian culture is equally as important to NZ as Maori culture. They will out number Maori one day.
I feel like supporting Winston Peters more and more each day! And i’m not even 65!
I live and work in NZ so am entitled to my opinion on matters as much as any Kiwi. If a Kiwi lives in the UK they can say what they want about the UK or wherever they live. Over a million people in NZ are born overseas. Are they not allowed to critique how things are run in NZ once in a while? I’ve been here 4 years, thats long enough to see how things work (or dont work)
I do find it funny how working in the ‘public service’ is regarded as some selfless service where you’re meant to take crap from the public. That is definitely not the case for me. If anyone is rude to me, regardless of their race, nationality or gender, I have no interest in helping them and would purposely not help them if they are a dick to me. I wouldnt accept rudeness from the public in the UK so i dont see why i should here. I dont get paid to be a punchbag. I dont think anyone i work with sees a public service job as the peoples work. Its a job, that is all it is. I enjoy my work for the most part and i enjoy working with all people as long as they are polite. As soon as they cross the line then my willingness to help or listen is extinguished. I’ve had some White Kiwi folks be rude and i put them straight (easier face to face). I have had white Kiwi colleagues abused by Maori and they didnt stand for it, they confronted them on the issue. Why should they be exempt from being courteous and having manners?
Going back to both original incidents, i told the Maori callers to send an email if they didnt want to speak to a non-newzealander or to get someone else to their work for them if they had such an attitude problem. All of my colleagues thought the behavior of the Maori caller was unacceptable and there are quite a few off the scale lefties in my team.
In relation to the sweeping generalisation that i want NZ to be a little Britain, That is definitely not the case. I like NZ and i do like on the most part that it is a liberal country. The libs have done a lot of good, but in managing the relationship with Maori they have gone too far in the public sector. That is my main gripe. Welly is a very liberal place. I like how no one bats an eyelid at each other here in Welly. People can be free to express themselves and most people are extremely friendly. I know Maori have it rough. They are the bottom of society. Some affirmative action is needed, but done in the right way. For some Maori that will never be enough until they have a Gaza Strip like settlement in the Ureweras. That would not be an ideal solution. Reparations wont fix things. They’ll be wasted (in some cases) on buying the Warriors Rugby team.
The NZ Govt could look the UK to manage things better in the public sector. Whenever a Black Minority Ethnic (BME) job is created in the UK, the job requirements are the same as any white applicant (except their colour) For example a BME History teacher would need a postgraduate qualification which is the standard industry expectation. So the person applying is more than capable of doing the job and its great that qualified BME applicants are given chances. Here in NZ, the bar is lowered. There are Maori staff in my workplace who are in Senior positions without having been to university. In one case a Maori staff member had work pay for their postgraduate course for which they were allowed to enter without having any undergraduate qualifications. These double standards breed resentment. If Maori staff are qualified enough then fair enough. But these examples from my workplace would be common across the public sector and i know many of my Kiwi colleagues share the same resentment as i do.
I came on here to see if other people have had the same experience. But also to highlight to newcomers to NZ or people thinking of moving to NZ that they will face reverse racism at somepoint whilst living in NZ. Its up to people how they deal with it. I have my ways which i wont be changing.
For the accusation i want NZ to be the last white haven and a throwback the good old days, well, that definitely is not the case as i am not white myself. I have no white heritage whatsoever.