Indian migrant blames New Zealand racism for New Year’s bar ban: An IT migrant worker from India is wondering if it was racism that caused a bouncer to stop him and a friend from entering an Auckland bar on New Year’s Eve.
The software project manager, 30-year-old Sandesh Gopal from Bangalore, said the bouncer told him and his friend they could not enter after singling them out and asking for their IDs.
“Others, white customers, were let in, and the bouncer just couldn’t tell us why he stopped us,” Mr Gopal said.
“We just wanted to celebrate the New Year like everyone else, and this just spoiled the mood for us.”
Mr. Gopal said he has worked in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, and Singapore, and feels that New Zealand is the “most racist”.
“The racism here is not overt, but it’s the small things that make us feel that maybe we are not welcomed,” he said.
He also said since coming to New Zealand in 2011 he has had many sour experiences and believes they are because of his ethnicity, including incidents from a bus driver, department store representatives, and a rental car company, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald.
“It’s just a shame that a developed nation like New Zealand has developed this kind of rude atmosphere,” said Mr. Gopal.
Last March a United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination singled out New Zealand’s “persistent discrimination against migrants, particularly of Asian origin,” said the New Zealand Herald report.
Under the Human Rights Act, discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnicity is illegal.
A Massey University report on Indians in Auckland in 2011 also found “widespread presence of discrimination”.
Sociologist Paul Spoonley conducted the study, which found Indian immigrants who arrived in New Zealand to be “well-educated and skilled newcomers” but were less accepted by employers than migrants from other countries such as Britain and South Africa.
Also, the study found that many Indian migrants experienced “considerable downward occupational mobility” and some 40 per cent of the participants in the study said they had experienced bigotry in the streets of New Zealand.
On the other hand, research by the Asia New Zealand Foundation has shown an increase in positivity towards Asian people in New Zealand over the past 15 years, from 32 percent in 1997 to 55 percent in 2011.
“The main reason for New Zealanders’ change in perceptions in the 15 years was more contact with Asians – there were more of them around – and this helped to reduce some of the prejudice that had previously coloured many New Zealanders’ attitudes,” explained the report.