More than half of Chinese living in New Zealand feel unsafe: survey

Chinese in New Zealand say they believe the country is "heaven" for criminals.
Jason Dorday

Chinese in New Zealand say they believe the country is "heaven" for criminals.

Almost 65 per cent of Chinese living in New Zealand feel unsafe, according to a survey.

Dr Andrew Zhu, the director of Trace Research Limited and a political polling analyst, conducted the survey on Chinese instant messaging service Wechat. More than 10,000 people have responded so far, with the poll set to close on Wednesday.

Results show 64 per cent of Chinese in New Zealand feel unsafe and 95 per cent think criminal punishment isn't harsh enough.

Zhu has been director of the market research company since 2011 and said the results gave him a "shock".

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"We hardly see any political polling among Chinese in New Zealand. I didn't expect such a high amount of attention to the poll," Zhu said.

The poll includes 44 per cent permanent New Zealand residents, 27 per cent Chinese international students, 12 per cent on a working visa, 15 per cent New Zealand Chinese citizens and 2 per cent visitors.

Fifty per cent involved in the poll are aged between 18 to 35.

"The key thing is getting the whole nation to understand the situation in the Asian community. 

"This will give New Zealanders the opportunity to look at how Asian people actually perceive this country. Some of the response is that New Zealand was a heaven but after two years it's not. Results are showing that this is a heaven for criminals so the perception is starting to change and we don't want that to happen," Zhu said.

Zhu thinks robberies within the Asian community are particularly bad and areas such as Queen St, Dominion Rd, Henderson, Northcote and south Auckland are hot spots for crime.

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According to the poll, when faced with a criminal, 61 per cent of Chinese will co-operate and escape, 21 per cent won't co-operate but will ask for help and 12 per cent of youth won't co-operate and fight back in self-defence. 

Zhu said he hoped the poll would raise concerns within the Chinese community. 

"I hope this will help Kiwis show more care, less criticism, and engage and support each culture and create a harmony within society. 

"Most Chinese are trying to find a better lifestyle, not everybody comes here for money, they travel here, they come for more opportunity, there's less corruption, and more equal opportunity."

North Shore area commander Inspector Shanan Gray said he did not believe Chinese, or other Asians, were being specifically targeted.

"Police work closely with all of our diverse communities to address any concerns they may have and we have specialised officers who are more than happy to meet with any ethnic groups to discuss their specific concerns.

"We want everyone in our community to feel safe and work closely with our Asian, South East Asian, Pacific and Maori advisory boards to do so. We are currently in the process of creating a Police WeChat account so we can communicate both in English and Mandarin to our Chinese community."

 - Stuff

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