Is there racism in New Zealand towards black people

I am a Ugandan female coming to New Zealand on a study visa for 2 years for my masters degree. I need to know if there is racism in New Zealand. Are there many black people from Africa? How are they treated? Would a little black boy of 5 years be treated well in the schools there or would it be best to leave him in Uganda?

I have been in Wellington close to 8 years now. Havent felt racism even once in that 8 years period.
Having said that, I am not sure how it is in the schools, but overall cities like Auckland and wellington are multicultural.
Hope this helps.
PS: I am of Indian origin

I have a friend from the.U.S. He is around 50 and is working as experienced graphic designer (He has more than 25 years experience). However, he was never ever treated well by company. He didn't get promoted properly either. He was my colleague and told me it is better than the.U.S, but sill NZ has racism.

In my case, I am an Asian. I am from South Korea, working as animation director. I feel so many racism here. I heard from my friend that many kiwi hate Asian. Just for you info.

There is racism in NZ. It is more pronounced on the South Island. The North Island in Auckland or Wellington would be OK. There are very few black or African Americans here. It would be about 1/150 people. Maori and Pasifica and Asian are the dominant ethnicities besides NZ Europeans.

Racism in NZ is subtle and hard to pick up on. Most of the expats hang out together. You can bring your child and the education system is pretty solid. Expect to be different though.

We have a very multi-ethnic society in NZ - especially in Auckland.  Biggest problem with your son will be recognising him in the crowd when school finishes.  Yes, we still have some racist idiots, but they exist in societies all over the world.

Hi ..I am an immigration adviser and I have helped many Africans settle in NZ including several Ugandans living in Auckland and several Tanzanians and a few Kenyans..the Tanzanians have children at Primary school (3) and none have reported racism either in school or out of school nor in daily life

If you feel so much racism in New Zealand and you feel discriminated against then why do you continue to live here..why don't you go to a place where you will feel more accepted

Hard to tell in Auckland. There is no direct name calling racism for say but you would feel something is off because people are not that talkative. I have not seen a single black person in the management in any company. I do feel Auckland is changing and you see more people of color. But one thing for sure, it would not be racism that you will have to worry about but the money, coz it is very expansive to live here.

Thank you very much for your response. This gives hope and some peace of mind. It looks like I wont have to be apart from my son for the whole two years.

Thank you very much for your info and encouragement. If a number of  people in New Zealand are like you, then i will be happy there.


Your second post, however nicely you put it,  suggesting that if someone felt discriminated against they should consider leaving is typical of the dreadful selfish attitude that exists here.

Just because you state you are not aware, it does not mean it does not exist.  Racism exists in every country, as does religious bigotry.

I work directly with many cultures here and have heard, first hand, tales of blatant racism and discrimination.  But immigrants, regardless of the color of their skin,  usually keep quiet to save people like yourself telling them to leave if they are not happy.  It is only when they trust you, their real feelings come pouring out.   Unfortunately many immigrants cannot leave because they have nowhere else to go and/or their money has gone. 

estherl, you will not find the type of direct racism you fear, but the cities that are more multi-cultural are extremely expensive to live in.  If you are a single woman with a child you will genuinely struggle to survive.

Yes there are racists . They think and believe their superior in every way however I would encourage you to come here get your masters and your kiwi passport and leave this place . Having said that if you are African you are most likely to do well . I have done well and once I get my PhD I'll leave this place .

no wonder some have suffered one likes a user

We have been here for about two years now on a work visa, and even though my entire stay so far has been in Wellington, I (my personal opinion) is that 99% of the people are not racist. HOWEVER, there is a very strong stereotypical presence. I have a good job that pays almost three figures per annum, but it hurts soo much when walking, being on the bus, or in the lifts, and once people notice you, the first thing they do is check for thier phones, or wallets, or pretty much check that their handbags are zipped or locked.

Subtle racism could be a possibility, but most forms of racism is currently directed at Chinese/Indians and other asians because of the housing and job crisis. There's a lot of racism towards Maoris and Islanders too.

A response so typical from Motorlodge which essentially translates to an inability to handle constructive feedback.  Yes racism and xenophobia is alive and well in NZ but then again it is not different to any other place.  It is just harder in NZ if that makes sense.

There are certain ways to overcome the racism issue. There's already alot of hate in this world. We are all the beautiful creation of God. Its not our fault that we're black, white, brown or whatever. Its just that we have to sit together, understand each other, be tolerant enough towards each other;s ideology.  The best way is to have a joint get together, sit across, have a cup of coffee and discuss everything. I have been very successful in bringing different races of people here in the middle east to overcome and remove racism thingy......   I hope the same could help when im there in NZ as well.

Because we continue to sell NZ as paradise to the rest of the world when it is just as difficult as everywhere else.  I find it despicable that we would give advise to people that are about to uproot everything they know to settle into what we "sell" them.   

The "go elsewhere" if you like it kiwi mentality should be binned - it does not belong here

I know this is an old post so maybe I won't get any responses, but I am interested in finding out how your experience has been since your move to NZ.  I am also researching moving to NZ with my partner and our children in a biracial/bicultural union.  I wonder if the pressures are greater in such situations.  We have the two options, NZ or USA....I'd much rather not USA.


Hallo,don't know about racism on the North island as I live in Canterbury
but I know from experience there is definitely a consious /unconscious  barrier between Kiwis and imports for a better word. You find out you are not necessarily excluded from conversations but you are usually the last to find out any info .It could be the part of the country I live in? I sometimes find Kiwis very defensive  about their way of life and they seem to think that they are the best
in the world, l find even after 4 years I am surprised at some of the comments I hear. So yes it is a fabulous country but don't come here starry eyed .

Thanks for your response.

There is no racism in New Zealand and most Maori are very dark people. Kiwi are more white but they are very good people. You won't have any issues just don't anything that will make them give cause to remove you before your visa is up and you will be fine. But one screw up and your are done. You will be on the next flight home no and if or's or buts. You will be leave with what you have with you at the time they will not ship your gears with you. You want your gears with you, better make sure you have the money to pay for the shipping. If not, you will lose out.

It is quiet a surprise to hear "why don't you go to a place where you will feel more accepted" from a immigrant supervisor. You don't say there is a place on this planet black people feel quiet comfortable and free of racism!

hi i am from Cameroon my first language is French. please i want to know if it easy to intergert an find a job in new zelande? and can i meet please people from Cameroon there? or french people for more information? because i am not good at English. thank you for your help

Good Day,

You have to know English well.
If not you will be required to complete an English course and score above 75%, I think that is the limit.
As for French speaking people, that I am not too sure of in New Zealand.
Just by your post you might have issues.
may I suggest you have a look at the New Zealand Immigration site and look to see if there is a school for English in your area and take the course before you leave to move to New Zealand.
Don't get your hopes up too high because New Zealand is very tough on standards that you need to meet in order to qualify.
What you can do is take trip there and have a look at what the people are like.
You find that they are very kind. Just keep in mind that there are bad apples every where.

Good Luck

Hi ..there a plenty of french speakers in NZ from France,  French Polynesia and the French Carribean as well as Mauritius, Reunion, Congo, Cameroon and  other African French speaking countries.
However if you do not speak English, unless you have a special skill, you will not find employment..even getting a visa to come here is an issue

I'm a  Kiwi - leaving for Asia, there is racism here - some subtle, some not so much.  The main centers on the North Island arent too bad. Auckland is great, as is Wellington (previously mentioned). I use to work with new and potential Kiwis in an advisory capacity (resettlement). Much of the media is to blame for the racism here (also NZ is experiencing a type of post colonial settlement which works in favour of non-white potential citizens)- if the media aren't targeting Polynesians (Maori are also Polynesians), they tend to concentrate on Asians, or South Africans, British and finally Americans. It truly is quite despicable. Our politicians aren't much better, we Kiwis have gotten use to seeing these political cretins divert focus from their own corruption by inciting some heinous crap against "foreigners" or expats. Don't worry about your skin colour, someone is always going to moan instead of concentrating on bettering their own lives. A word of advice - where there is a heavy Asian populace - you'll be fine, The deeper down South you go, the more you will experience ignorance. There have been race fuelled murders committed down the South Island. You wont really see the same crimes on the North Island. Some Southerners dont even know their attitudes are not acceptable in an intelligent society. I've lived on both the South and North islands. Prior to colonisation (British resettlement) - racism did not exist here in NZ.

this comment is aimed at remark relates to people who take what they can get are quite transparent so people see it and act accordingly and refers to attitude...there is nothing constructive in the persons criticism...saying I am using the place and taxpayers money and taking what I can get to gain my education and then not giving nothing back and leaving  is attitudinal....would I want to know that white asian or I wouldn't...I am Jewish and my partner is black..and we have mixed clearly I am not rascist..I just don't like users
..and the previous comment regarding pre-colonization..everyone here was Maori and tribal and inter-tribal war was constant..and given they weren't here how would they know

Isn't this thread producing interesting answers.
I see it this way, racism is a problem all over the world, but racism is always the racist's problem, so ignore the fools and get on with what you want to do.

motorlodge wrote:

.my remark relates to people who take what they can get are quite transparent so people see it and act accordingly and refers to attitude...

Being against grabbers isn't racist as long as it's all grabbers, not just some.

that would be incorrect motorlodge - my specialisation at TWOR (TWOR graduates mark other university papers on NZ history ) was Mataauranga Maori (Ethnic studies - Maori knowledge). The pre-colonial wars were not race based, they were native feudal which is quite different (and not in any way comparable to land acquisition for the sake of acquiring resources) and largely as a result of customary impingement (someone breaking tapu of another hapu or causing grievance) and the widening of a hapu area to accommodate those in that boundary or family subtribe. It would also be worth adding that European - not the Maori came up with the word "Maori". The indigenous knew each other by their  wider group - of whom - anyone could and did join - i.e whalers, early pioneers, other traders, indigenous Ausralians - absolutely anyone. With my own family - great great great grandfather was one of the original owners of the New Zealand company - his sons married into local tribes.

And agreed Fred, racism is everywhere - in NZ too - best just to get on with things.

Its prevalence in the whole world but most human beings are fine people doesnt matter black or white

Moderated by Julien 7 years ago
Reason : please keep that kind of comment for you

I've just deleted a post from this thread, one that pretty much proved beyond any question racism and stupidity are married.
Hope not many people read the mindless crap before I dumped it.

All Chinese this, all black that - what a pile of old rubbish.

People are people, just that some have different skin colours, use different languages and have different traditions.
I see it this way; the mix of new foods available is great and you get to learn a lot about everything just by talking to new mates who come from a wide variety of places.
Meeting new people, finding out about their food, traditions and life is like a sort of holiday brochure and encyclopedia on legs.

Hate only keeps a closed mind snapped shut - silly.

Wholeheartedly agree with post#34 from fred.

there will always be racists all over the world.
the main gist about the islanders hating on the asians is because they think they are stealing their jobs.

must agree that guy was so unbelievable, not on the same planet as most people.

Hi! I am interested in moving to New Zealand! I would like some advices from you. Thanks

I'm Asian from Indonesia, lived in Wellington with my kiwi patner,  yea sometime I heard friend of my patner comment about many Asian or other migrant stealing the jobs from kiwi , I'm explain to them not Asian or other migrant fault have that jobs because some of the jobs local people don't want do it that jobs, example like picking fruits, Farms or vineyard something like that...

Hi this is an old post but I feel it is important to continue to get the word out. I agree with most of the posters that if you live in the larger North Island cities i.e Wellington, Auckland, you will be buffered somewhat against racist experiences. However in other places there is a pervasive and pernicious type of racism (think of the film Get Out) People like to be told that they are friendly open and welcoming, and they generally are, but a minority severely stereotype you if you are not white - they think you are supposed to be a little less fluent in English, less ambitious than your white counterparts and certainly very, very grateful for the privilege of being in NZ (even if the country is darned lucky to get someone with your qualifications) But if you play along you are usually ok.

The worst types of racism are from those with entrenched views who have socioeconomic power - don't worry you will never be invited to their backyard barbeques to hear these views spoken out loud if you are not white. I can often hardly believe my ears at what gets said when people think they have "white solidarity" The same thing happens from some immigrants with a load of racial resentments e.g. Americans from the deep south, South Africans, Zimbabweans - who often refuse to change their ways despite being in a new country.

So the upshot of it is, do come over - it is a truly beautiful place with mostly beautiful people. Avoid the provinces and the South Island. Find a community and avoid encounters with those who come from well known areas of racial strife. Keep your wits about you, if you think something is "off" with the way you are being treated you are probably right!!