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Auckland family "deeply cut" by neighbour's racist threats

04 July 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

An Auckland family is shaken after allegedly being verbally abused and racially threatened by a next-door neighbour.

Tweedie Waititi, of Maori heritage, says her neighbour in Ponsonby was playing loud pro-Hitler music last night, followed by country songs with explicitly racist lyrics.

Ms Waititi's family arrived home last night and heard the explicit music playing from next door but they thought the neighbour was doing research. 

The neighbour then began yelling out, "I'll burn you, you black, you niggers. Throw your dog over here so I can burn him too".

Ms Waititi says they were shocked and deeply cut by what had happened.

She is the sister of film legend Taika Waititi, who last month spoke out against racism in the Give Nothing To Racism campaign by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

The campaign urges New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance.

"Our stomachs are still knotted," says Ms Waititi. "Knowing that that stuff is in our backyard is very disheartening. This is New Zealand 2017, it's supposed to be an awesome country." 

Tweedie Waititi. Photo/ LinkedIn.

Ms Waititi says the situation has opened up racial wounds from the past.

"Our ancestors went through this," she says. "It's told in our waiata, it's in our haka and yet again we get another reminder so we're pretty cut up."

The matter has been taken to Police and Ms Waititi says if need be, they'll proceed to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

Ms Waititi says as unfortunate as it is, they want to use the situation to highlight the issue being alive and real in Aotearoa.

"We're not scared to shine a light on that stuff because we've been through it enough," she says. "It's a huge eye-opener. It needs to change."

She wants to encourage people who encounter these situations to take it to Police.

"People don't go to that step but we need to," says Ms Waititi.

As a result, the couple has decided to send their daughters off to a relative's home, until the situation is resolved.

Give Nothing To Racism campaign. Photo/ NZ Human Rights Commission. 

Tags: racism, Tweedie Waititi, Rachel House, Taika Waititi, Give Nothing To Racism, New Zealand Human Rights Commission,