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Asia Minute: New Zealanders Say They Face Discrimination in Australia

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Immigration has become a big talking point in the current U.S. presidential campaign. But the topic is a political issue in much of the world—including Australia---where a new report out this week comes to some surprising conclusions. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

People moving to a new country often face discrimination…in different forms and in varying degrees.  A survey of more than 10,000 people in Australia found most immigrants are “very satisfied” with their lives down under, but there are some notable exceptions.  The “Australians Today” report by the Scanlon Foundation and Monash University found immigrants coming from South Sudan experience a high level of prejudice—with 80% of those responding saying they faced discrimination.

The other nationality who says they face extreme discrimination in Australia may be more surprising to outsiders: New Zealanders.  Out of nearly 400 New Zealanders living in Australia who were surveyed, only 25% agreed with the phrase “most people can be trusted.”  The report’s author, Professor Andrew Markus, attributes the lack of a sense of belonging among New Zealanders in Australia to certain government policies.

While New Zealanders living in Australia are allowed to work there, they are not eligible to vote or receive welfare or other government benefits.  By contrast, Australians moving to New Zealand can qualify for those benefits.  Apart from immigration, the report also found Muslims experience a high degree of negative treatment in Australia—especially women…even though most Muslims in Australia were born in the country.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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