A landlord has been accused of discrimination after he allegedly rejected an Indigenous woman’s rental application because she has an ‘ethnic’ first name.
Iwi Kemp applied for 10 private rental properties in Christchurch, New Zealand, but each time she was told the properties were no longer available.
As a joke the Māori woman reapplied for one using the name ‘Maria’ instead and immediately heard back.
‘The first thing I asked him was whether the house was still available. He said it was. Then I said that’s funny, because when I texted you from my other phone with my real name you said it was gone,’ she told the New Zealand Herald.
The man then laughed and allegedly said: ‘I just don’t want your sort in my house… You’re Māori, aren’t you? You wreck houses, and have gangs and the drug life.’
Ms Kemp said she was left feeling upset and confused by the call.
‘I’m not in a gang and I don’t make drugs. I’ve got a really good job and good tenant references – so he’s missing out, really.’
In New Zealand it is illegal for a landlord or property manager to filter or reject potential tenants based on their ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation.
A spokesman for the Human Rights Commission has urged anyone who believes they’ve been discriminated against to get in touch.