Tasteless discriminatory ad ‘is not okay’
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.