Indian radio remark by INZ officer branded racist
A comment by a New Zealand Immigration officer suggesting that New Zealand residents are unlikely to tune into an Indian radio station has been attacked as being racist. The incident followed an application by a client of Ramya Sathiyanathan, an immigration lawyer, for a position as a beauty therapist. Ms Sathiyanathan said she received an email from an immigration officer telling her she was not convinced that the employer had made adequate attempts to find a kiwi employee before offering the position to an immigrant.
A complaint has been sent to the Race Relations Conciliator. Ms Sathiyanathan said she considered the comment to be racist adding that she filed the complaint after her requests for an apology or retraction were ignored.
The beauty therapist position was advertised on Radio Tarana, an Indian radio station, as well as in the New Zealand Herald newspaper and Winz.
Michael Carley, immigration area manager, said the comment was made during an initial assessment of the application. He added that he rejects the idea that any Immigration New Zealand officers have a racial bias.
Alastair McClymont, an immigration specialist lawyer, said the job advertisement had been put out by an Indian radio station because the job requires a beauty therapist who has training in Indian beauty techniques, something that New Zealand beauty schools do not teach.
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