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Enough Racism Already

Enough Racism Already

I was pretty upset when I learnt that Sarai Tepou and her family, residents of Epsom, were escorted out of Newmarket pools by police and issued a trespass warrant for two years because the pool staff alleged that property went missing from the pools when her family turned up.

Neither the staff nor the police checked their bags, or had any proof whatsoever that Sarai was responsible for the so called missing property.

It seems to me this is yet another example of racial profiling.

It reminds me of the bad old days when upon first arriving in New Zealand, I was teased and taunted as a 'bloody coconut', except in this case, Sarai and her family have been called 'thieves' without any proof of wrong-doing.

These days the police mostly do a great job but they dropped the ball this time. They should not have immediately escorted the family out, based solely on the word of the staff without any proof. What happened to being innocent before proven guilty?

In this day and age I do not expect racism as displayed in this case against Sarai and her family. I especially don't expect it from publicly funded organisations such as the Newmarket pools and the Police.

It is racial profiling at its worse. To make matters worse it was only because Sarai approached the media, and the media asked for their view, that the pool staff eventually apologised to Sarai and lifted the ban.

The Pacific community are an integral part of the modern New Zealand society today. We’ve put up with this treatment from day one and we shouldn’t have to any longer. This is our country too and we deserve better than this.

I am glad Sarai is taking this matter to the Race Relations Commissioner and expect them to hand down a strong decision. She will have my full support. Enough Racism Already. As a nation we must do better.


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