Taste­less dis­crim­i­na­tory ad ‘is not okay’

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HAN­NAH MARTIN

On­line lodg­ing bro­ker Airbnb has re­moved mul­ti­ple list­ings from an East Auck­land-based host who re­fused to rent spa­ces to Ma¯ori and Pasi­fika peo­ple.

A wo­man, who asked to re­main anony­mous, spot­ted the four-bed­room Flat Bush home on the on­line site re­cently while look­ing for ac­com­mo­da­tion for fam­ily com­ing over from South Africa.

Among other, fairly stan­dard house rules – no smok­ing, no pets, no par­ties – were the words ‘‘not suit­able for al­co­holism, smok­ing opium, no Ma¯ori peo­ple, no is­land peo­ple’’.

The wo­man said she found the post of­fen­sive, im­me­di­ately re­port­ing it to both Airbnb and the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

‘‘Com­ing from South Africa I thought I left all that racism be­hind.

‘‘It was a huge shock to see it,’’ she said.

‘‘There is no place in New Zealand for this.’’

Airbnb re­moved the ini­tial list­ing, but that didn’t de­ter the host.

A sec­ond list­ing – with the same set of rules – ap­peared on the site just hours later, she said.

The sec­ond list­ing was also re­moved later.

A spokes­woman for the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion said find­ing a place to stay was hard enough with­out hav­ing to face racism as well.

‘‘This is not okay,’’ she said.

‘‘A prop­erty owner or their agent who dis­crim­i­nates against peo­ple be­cause of their race, age, sex, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, fam­ily sta­tus or dis­abil­ity risks break­ing the Hu­man Rights Act.’’

A spokesman for Airbnb Aus­trala­sia said the com­pany tried to be ’’proac­tive’’ when it came to dis­crim­i­na­tion.

‘‘We be­lieve that no mat­ter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to be­long in the Airbnb com­mu­nity.’’

In Novem­ber, Airbnb launched its Com­mu­nity Com­mit­ment, to ‘‘make good on their mis­sion of be­long­ing’’ af­ter fac­ing crit­i­cism for in­ac­tion to­wards dis­crim­i­na­tion and bias on the site.

The com­mu­nity com­mit­ment means own­ers must agree to treat ev­ery­one with re­spect and with­out judge­ment or bias, re­gard­less of their race, re­li­gion, eth­nic­ity, dis­abil­ity, gender iden­tity, age or sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, the Airbnb spokesman said.

Those who don’t abide by the com­mu­nity com­mit­ment face be­ing re­moved from the plat­form.

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