Racism Complaints

Laura Kavanagh made this Official Information request to Human Rights Commission

The request was successful.

From: Laura Kavanagh

Dear Human Rights Commission,

I would like to request documents regarding complaints made by new immigrants to New Zealand. I am doing an investigation of racism in New Zealand employment and am looking for examples where immigrants have encountered racism by New Zealand employers.

Yours faithfully,

Laura Kavanagh

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From: Robert Hallowell
Human Rights Commission

96550

Hello Laura Kavanagh,

My name is Robert Hallowell; I work at the Human Rights Commission
and am its Official Information Act Officer.

Thank you for your request of 1 August 2013.

The Commission is able to provide you with the information you
requested for the period starting 1 July 2011 and ceasing on 30
June 2013. Please let me know if that poses a problem.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hallowell

[email address]

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From: Laura Kavanagh

Dear Robert Hallowell,

Thank you so much. That information will be extremely helpful

Yours sincerely,

Laura Kavanagh

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From: Laura Kavanagh

Dear Robert Hallowell,

Are you able to provide the information electronically via email?

Yours sincerely,

Laura Kavanagh

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From: Robert Hallowell
Human Rights Commission

Hello Laura,

I will be able to respond in that form.

Kind regards,

Robert

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From: Laura Kavanagh

Dear Robert Hallowell,

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Laura Kavanagh

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From: Laura Kavanagh

Dear Robert Hallowell,

When would you be able to send these documents? Would you like me to provide my personal email or are you able to provide the documents on this forum?
Thanks for your help

Yours sincerely,

Laura Kavanagh

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From: Robert Hallowell
Human Rights Commission

Hello Laura,

Thank you for your email. The person preparing the information required to reply to your request is dealing with a number of time consuming matters at the moment. The expectation is that the information will be available by the end of next week

I appreciate that you are keen to receive the information as quickly as possible. The Commission is using its best endeavours to meet your request.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hallowell

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Luke left an annotation ()

Their response is consistent with the statutory requirement to make a decision on your request as soon as reasonably practicable, and no later than 20 working days after the day on which your request is received by the Commission.

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From: Robert Hallowell
Human Rights Commission


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96550

Dear Laura Kavanagh,

On 1 August 2013 you made an Official Information Act request for
information about complaints made by new immigrants to New Zealand, in
particular examples where immigrants have encountered racism by New
Zealand employers. You agreed with the Commission’s suggestion that the
information you requested be limited to the period starting 1 July 2011
and ceasing on 30 June 2013.

On 7 August 2013 you contacted the Commission’s Senior Communications
Advisor. You wrote that you are in the process of writing an investigative
piece about whether Asian immigrants are exploited and/or subject to
racism from New Zealand employers. You asked if it was possible to arrange
an interview with someone from the Human Rights Commission who deals with
complaints of exploitation and racial discrimination in employment.

Official Information Act request

Because your request is for information about “immigrants” the Commission
searched its complaints and enquiries database for matters that were
categorised with the following keywords “ethnic or national origins”,
“refugee and migrant”’ in the areas of pre-employment or employment.

A search of all complaints of race discrimination or racial harassment
would be very time consuming and would require clear parameters of who is
considered to be a migrant.

Most people do not tell the Commission how long they have been in New
Zealand.

Complaints of Ethnic or National Origin discrimination in Employment – 1
July 2011 to 30 June 2013

During the period there were 143 complaints or enquiries.

Ethnicities of those complaining

There was a collection rate of 76 per cent for the ethnicity of those
making complaints or enquiries about ethnic or national origins, refugee
and migrant in the areas of pre-employment or employment.

[1]cid:image001.png@01CEA40B.D3744110

* MELAA: Middle Eastern, Latin American and African

“European” includes those who responded as New Zealander/Pakeha/Kiwi/New
Zealand European when asked their ethnicity.

Nature of the complaints

There were two recurring themes in the pre-employment complaints:
employers requiring applicants to have “English as their first language”
and employers seeking only applicants with permanent residency or
citizenship. Other complaints included not being interviewed for positions
due to not having Anglicised names and migrants being charged large sums
by companies offering “assistance in finding employment” and other
work-related services, (e.g. guaranteed hours, accommodation with
employment) that did not eventuate.

In employment, the greatest number of complaints were about “English
language only policies”’. Complainants and enquirers said they were
prohibited from and disciplined for, speaking a language other than
English, even during unpaid breaks.

Discrimination complaints made by Asian ethnic groups

Those identifying as Indian make up 45 per cent of the complainants in the
Asian ethnic group. The next largest ethnic group of complainants in Asian
ethnic group are Chinese, with 15 per cent.

The nature of the complaints and enquiries was broad and there were no
identifiable similarities between complaints made by particular ethnic
groups.

Community Intelligence gathered

Anecdotally, the Commission’s Advisor staff report that:

·         members of the public frequently discuss employment issues faced
by migrants and refugees; common issues raised are difficulty securing
employment; newcomers’ degrees or credentials not being recognised in New
Zealand

·         some migrant groups, such as East Asians, Africans and Indians,
along with Bhutanese and Afghan refugees attempt self-employment, but many
migrants and refugees are under-employed

·         language courses are not a quick solution as many migrants and
refugees need to kick-start their employment rather than spending months
or years in language classes

·         workers from Pakistan and the Philippines in New Zealand for the
Canterbury rebuild programme report exploitation and some resentment in
the industries where there is high unemployment.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hallowell

Official Information Act Officer

 

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margherita cavani left an annotation ()

HI I'm italian. I have been living in NZ since 2009. In NZ is very difficult/impossible to find a job for an Italian. the English level is never enough, although I have passed the English 6.5 required by the Immigration Laws. another problem is the NZ experience, nobody knows what it is, but it seems that I don't have it and I feel that I won't .... ever. I was told in face that they don't hire Italians also if they are qualified and have experience for the job. they told me that if one kiwi, not qualified and not experienced applies for the job, they prefer the kiwi, so I assume that my permanent resident status doesn't have any value. I have applied for the most basic jobs, also for "night filling team", but I was told that my skills are not enough. I have 2 qualification taken in NZ accredited institutions: Fitness Instructor at AUT University and Level 4 Computer in TWOA. the sad reality is that nobody hires an Italian (not even in an Italian fashion shop managed by kiwis), they prefer Chinese and Indian, being this ethnicities bigger than the Italian one. Once I was told that many customers could be annoyed by my terrible accent..... I feel that I'm hopeless and alone, but most of all I have lost my self confidence. when I meet somebody I try to understand how much this person is annoyed by my presence in the country. Margherita Cavani - margheritacavani@rocketmail.com

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