Racist New Zealand | The Jackal

16 Apr 2012

Racist New Zealand

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

A Fiji-Indian landlord has had his rental property listing removed by Trade Me after he described his ideal tenants as "European".

Good on Trade Me for making the right decision. Requesting that your tenants need to be a certain ethnicity is a clear breach of the Human Rights Act 1993.

The discriminatory advert rightly gained a number of complaints... However there's a reason for the unnamed man's racism:

He said the television show Renters had put him off ethnic tenants.


"At the end of the day, I haven't got anything against them... but you don't want to go through what you see on all those TV programmes.

Programs like Renters promote discrimination by focusing on ethnic minorities; they also disproportionately put the blame on tenants, when there are many terrible landlords in New Zealand who never get named and shamed.

One of the main reasons for the biased reporting is weak enforcement of our human rights laws, with those employed to ensure racial harmony often failing to uphold their mandate.

The Human Rights Commission spokesman Gilbert Wong said the rules did not apply when looking for flatmates.

"Someone might advertise for a female flatmate. That's fine because it's about living with someone, as opposed to offering a product or service generally," Mr Wong said.

Wong is wrong! There is no legislation that says you can racially discriminate when choosing a flatmate. No lawful distinction is made between offering a service and advertising for a flatmate.

The law clearly states that you shouldn't discriminate against a potential flatmate on account of the colour of their skin... and the end result of the Commission's incorrect interpretation of the law: