Accounts of blatant racism against Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand

Sylvia Pack, Keith Tuffin, Antonia Lyons


Racism in Aotearoa New Zealand has been shown to be modern, subtle, symbolic and understated, yet also powerfully prevalent and functional in maintaining Pākehā societal structures. These significant findings arise from a large corpus of studies of Pākehā media representation and Pākehā talk and text. In contrast, this study examines racism as recounted by Māori targets. Nineteen Māori participants were asked to describe their experiences. The data were analysed using thematic analysis informed by social constructionism, which facilitated attention to language patterns and context. Key themes in the accounts were: phenotypical identity markers, negative stereotypes, public racism, and the significant emotional impacts involved in being a target of racism. The overt nature of racist incidents challenge findings which show modern racism to be subtle, and counter the view that offensive overt racism is out dated.


Māori, Pākehā, subtle, racism, Aotearoa, New Zealand

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