Racial abuse on the rise in Christchurch
By REBECCA TODD - The Press | Monday, 2 July 2007

Being the target of flying missiles from cars and verbal abuse is becoming a fact of life for more Asian people in Christchurch.

Police and the Human Rights Commission say complaints of racial abuse are rising.

The last month has seen a spike in formal complaints, says the commission, although other agencies claim the trend started with negative publicity about cheating Chinese students in February.

Commission race relations adviser Zheela Vokes said she had seen a significant increase in formal complaints in the past month, although she could not provide statistics.

Complaints included racial abuse shouted on the streets, being elbowed, or approached aggressively.

Vokes said the commission was mounting a joint response with police, the Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Christchurch City Council.

Canterbury police Asian liaison officer Constable Rakesh Naidoo said he had also seen a rise in complaints of racial slurs and people throwing eggs and water balloons from cars.

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