February 11, 2012

Asians most discriminated against in New Zealand

New Zealand's large Asian community that includes Indians, is the most discriminated- against group in the country despite being one of the four largest population groups.

In a survey conducted for the Human Rights Commission, 75 per cent of respondents named Asians as the most discriminated against, TVNZ reported today.

It said the attitudes towards them have changed little in the past five years.

Asians are now one of the country's four largest population groups and the fastest growing, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said, adding the time has come for the Asian community to be recognised alongside Maori, Pakeha and Pacific island communities.

A Human Rights Commission review of discrimination and harassment found that the number of media reports of racially motivated crime dropped in the past year, but still included a number of serious assaults.

Two Thai women were abused both physically and verbally in Nelson, a couple set their dogs on a Filipino man and Japanese student in Christchurch, a man in New Plymouth attacked his Indian neighbours' car with a machete, and a Chinese student was assaulted at an Invercargill petrol station.

De Bres told the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils in Wellington that an active focus on inclusion of Asian New Zealanders in all aspects of New Zealand life was required to break down discrimination.

"Asians are now one of our four largest population groups, and one of the fastest growing. Yet the only publicly funded television programme, Asia Downunder, was discontinued last year," he said.