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Passengers erupt in applause as Wellington train manager ejects woman for racist bullying


A Metlink train manager is in line for a civic safety award after the way she successfully dealt with a racially abusive passenger.

Jane-Anne Phillips was managing the 8.35pm service from Wellington to Upper Hutt last night when she had to intervene after a teenage passenger began verbally abusing another passenger who was on the phone to his wife.

“He was speaking to his wife and this female passenger was swearing at him, telling him to speak in English,” Ms Phillips told 1 NEWS.

The passenger apologised to the woman and said he would speak in English but she continued her behaviour, prompting a visit from management.

After the woman failed to calm down, Ms Phillips called the police and told the woman she would be getting off at the next stop.

"Having been through the 15th of March, we should not have to tolerate or condone that kind of behaviour, especially when you have a train full of passengers," Ms Phillips said.

She said it was all part of the job and she was not fazed by it. However, it was the second time it had happened.

"I think of it as being just part of my job and dealing with these types of situations - you just deal with it the best way you can," she said.

The incident meant a 20-minute delay for the remaining passengers, but Ms Phillips said no-one minded. In fact, her actions brought applause from those who had witnessed the event.

"I was really encouraged by the comments from people as they left the train," she said.

Even the mayor, whose colleague is reported to have witnessed the incident, gave her a call, inviting her to morning tea and nominating her for a civic safety award.

"To get a call from the mayor is quite something," Ms Phillips said.