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The racist rules for this NZ Airbnb


Ameen thought the host of his Christchurch Airbnb was charismatic, kind and well-travelled. What he didn’t expect were signs banning the use of Maori in the property.

 

On each glass door to the living room was a printed notice to guests, including ‘No Maori to be spoken on these premises’, and ‘We live in NEW ZEALAND. Please don’t refer to our country as ‘Aotearoa’.’

 

 

Ameen, who had been chatting to the host, hadn’t expected such outright racism from him. “You could strike up a conversation with this man and probably chat for hours,” Ameen told the NZ Herald.

 

Despite finding it difficult to remain composed upon seeing the signs, Ameen didn’t ask the host about them, saying that growing up a Muslim he was taught to consider when to engage or not.

 

“I was wary that I am in someone else’s home and if they can be this forthright with their perspectives, then there’s no telling what else they are capable of or how they may react,” he said.

 

“What I most certainly have never seen before and never hope to again, is the absolute confidence in which this man has blatantly showcased his instructions for his guests to see.”

 

Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for New Zealand and Australia, said the company takes reports of discrimination “very seriously” and have since provided Ameen with a full refund and suspended the listing while it investigates the matter. 

 

“We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay,” Nolan said.

 

The link to the property has been removed from the Airbnb website.

 
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Published: 24 November 2021

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