Elaine | Waimauku

“I’m a Westie. You may not think I’m a Westie looking at me, but I grew up there.

My parents were market gardeners. I loved growing up in the country. I call New Zealand home, although at times it’s challenging because I’ve had all sorts of prejudices, I guess, against me. In general New Zealand’s not a bad place. We need more focus to do with the environment, definitely and so called Clean Green needs a bit of cleaning up.

I don’t look like your so-called typical Kiwi, so growing up in a rural school was challenging. There were other Chinese families there but we were different, but the majority of the time it was great. I had a lot of support from friends and family, and met so many people from different ethnic groups, which I love. That’s why where I’m working now is the same; we have, I think, five different ethnic groups. This is the New Zealand that is great to be in. Sometimes I do get the prejudices. Occasionally it happens. The typical ‘go home’, is the usual thing, but this is my home. People should accept that. It’s hurtful considering I grew up here and I call New Zealand my home, and I feel sorry for them. Obviously the person saying the prejudices, they are ignorant to the whole thing of what it’s like with all the different cultures.

Ignorance is around everywhere. It varies. I get really angry, but it happens to everyone. Just trying not to be angry, and just walk away I find tends to be the best thing. Occasionally I do confront the issue. Whether they’re willing to listen or not is another thing, but you know look around you; there’s so many different cultures in Auckland, which is great to see, and I hope that in other countries it’s the same.”

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