The New Zealand Herald

NZ ‘racist as f***’ charges Taika Waititi


Hollywood director Taika Waititi has called New Zealand “racist as f***” in a new interview.

Waititi, who has seen his star rise in Hollywood thanks to the box office success of made the claim in an interview with musician Ruban Nielson for

magazine. Nielson, the front man for alt-rock act Unknown Mortal Orchestra, compared Australian racism to New Zealand, which prompted Waititi to unleash.

“It’s racist as f***,” the normally jovial director declared near the end of the interview.

“I think New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it’s a racist place. People just flat-out refuse to pronounce Maori names properly.

“There’s still profiling when it comes to Polynesian­s. It’s not even a colour thing — like, ‘Oh, there’s a black person.’ It’s, ‘If you’re Poly then you’re getting profiled.’”

Waititi also called Aucklander­s “very patronisin­g”.

“They’re like, ‘Oh, you’ve done so well, haven’t you? For how you grew up. For one of your people.’”

Waititi recently fronted a campaign for New Zealand Human Rights, helming a tongue-in-cheek video against racism.

“I’m calling on every one of my fellow Kiwis to help support a very important cause, racism . . . needs your help to survive,” he jeered in the satirical clip released last July.

“You may not be in a position to give much to racism, but what you feel comfortabl­e giving will make a difference.

“You don’t have to be a full-on racist — just being a tiny bit racist is enough.

“A smile, a cheeky giggle, even a simple nod in agreement, it all adds up and gives others the message that it’s okay.”

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