NEW DELHI: New Zealand does not condone race- based abuse in any form, its acting High Commissioner Suzannah Jessep today said, a day after an Indian national was allegedly assaulted and subjected to a racist tirade in that country.
She also asserted that it is important that the process of investigation by the local police be allowed to continue independently. "New Zealand does not condone race-based abuse in any form. The comments reported do not reflect the views of the vast majority of New Zealanders, who celebrate and embrace New Zealand's diversity and multicultural character," she said in a statement.
Jessep also observed that New Zealand is home to a thriving Indian diaspora, representing 4 per cent of its population and whose members are represented in the government, the police force, civil society groups, business, education and elsewhere.
"Hindi is also the fourth most widely spoken language in New Zealand," the envoy said, noting for these particular cases, the media has reported that complaints have been made to the police, and it is important that this process be allowed to continue independently.
Noting that her country has a strong track record on human rights, she said New Zealand is ranked first globally for tolerance for immigrants, community safety, and religious tolerance in the 2016 Social Progress Index (SPI). Nearly 90 per cent of migrants in New Zealand say they feel they belong to the country and a vast majority its citizens believe the culture, society and economy are improved by immigrants, she said.
According to a media report, an Indian national in New Zealand was assaulted, subjected to a racist tirade and told to go back to his own country during a road rage incident in Auckland. Narindervir Singh said he was filming from inside his vehicle when the incident happened last week.
Another man, Bikramjit Singh, had allegedly suffered similar abuse last week as he left a Papatoetoe storage facility. A man who claimed Bikramjit was speeding, yelled at him, saying, "Go back to your country - slow down! You know what the speed limit is here."