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Samoan local government politician urging community to speak out against racism

28 July 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

A Samoan local government politician in Auckland is calling on the community to speak out when they experience racism. 

Chairperson of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Lotu Fuli, claims a security guard at Skycity Convention Centre, questioned her walking into a conference last Sunday.

She says the security guard stopped her and asked where she was going, but hadn't stopped any of her palagi colleagues. 

Chairperson Lotu Fuli (centre), with the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board members. Photo/ Auckland City Council. 

Fuli has laid a formal complaint through Local Government New Zealand and says people need to start reporting racist encounters.

"If we don't speak up when we experience discrimination or casual racism, we'll never get any change," she says. "Because people will carry on and think that it's okay or that it's normal."

Skycity reportedly responded earlier this week saying they have not seen any formal complaints.  

Fuli says their response is unacceptable.

"They're not accepting that it even happened," she says. "That makes me angry because it just helps this kind of racism to carry on." 

She's now urging the community to call out 'casual racism' and to address is seriously.

"Every time your palagi friend makes a racist joke, call it out: 'When you don't say my name properly and make a joke out of it, it hurts me'."

Tags: South Auckland, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Lotu Fuli,