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Taika Waititi says New Zealand 'the best place on the planet', but 'racist as f***' in latest interview

Kiwi director Taika Waititi has spoken about racism in New Zealand in a recent interview where he delved into the prejudice he experienced during his youth.

Waititi made the comments in an interview for the British style and culture magazine Dazed and Confused alongside Kiwi singer for the band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ruban Nielson - who agreed with Waititi's assessment.

"It's racist as f***. I think New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it's a racist place," Waititi said.

"People just flat-out refuse to pronounce Māori names properly. There's still profiling when it comes to Polynesians."

Waititi detailed a number of experiences of racism as a child growing up in Raukokore on the East Cape and Wellington.

"I remember getting a job at a dairy and they would never give me a job at the till, I was always at the back washing vegetables," Waititi said.

"And then one day one of the owners asked me if I sniffed glue – like, 'Are you a glue-sniffer?' In my head I was like, 'Motherf......, you grew up with my mum!' And I knew for sure that he didn't ask other kids in the store if they were glue-sniffers."

The Human Rights Commission’s campaign Give Nothing To Racism aims to discourage people from allowing racism any leeway, either intentionally or otherwise. Source: Human Rights Commission.

Waititi said "people in Auckland are very patronising. They're like, 'Oh, you've done so well, haven't you? For how you grew up. For one of your people,'" he said.

Waititi has directed a sting of box office successes, with Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok released in the last two years. 

Last week Waititi spoke to Marae about how he viewed the state of the country.
Source: 1 NEWS