Discrimination against Asians in New Zealand grows

3News: Discrimination against Asians in New Zealand grows
Sat, 21 Feb 2009 6:01p.m.

Video Report

It was lunchtime in Newmarket and Johnny Zhang – who came to New Zealand from China five years ago – was getting groceries.

Just hours before heading to the markets he was abused for no reason as he waited at traffic lights.

“I didn’t even see who they were. Just suddenly they shouted at me and I even didn’t hear what they say, but it was quite loud and then they drove away,” explains Mr Zhang. “I just don’t get it.”

Phil Pam has also experienced discrimination. In his case, rubbish was thrown at him as he walked down the street.

“When you have those bad experiences, with bad people, you absolutely feel sad,” says fellow Chinese immigrant Mr Pam.

The latest race relations research confirms it is a sad trend according to 74 percent of respondents in a survey.

Asians were discriminated against. Sixty-eight percent said overweight people suffered discrimination while Pacific peoples and gays and lesbians were not far behind.

“What are the reasons? It’s difficult to say I think it’s a mixture of newness, ignorance and there is prejudice – there’s no doubt about that,” says Race Relations Commissioner Joris De Bres.

There is a surprise where people believe they encounter most discrimination: government departments top the list – ahead of public places, shops and employers. Read more.

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