A petition signed by more than 6500 people has been presented to a number of key members of the Auckland central community following an increase in violent attacks against international students.
The meeting was organised by the New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association (NZCSA) and involved representatives from the police, University of Auckland, Auckland Council, and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.
This follows last week’s attacks in which six Unitec and University of Auckland students found themselves the target of two violent robberies in central Auckland.
One man and five women were punched, kicked, and robbed by the offenders who are still at large.
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These attacks are just one example of the increasing violence directed at international students.
Labour party ethnic affairs spokesperson Phil Goff said the violence was “frightening.” He was concerned about the “savage” nature of the attacks, saying “the injuries were significant and they have been inflicted with little empathy about the pain they were inflicting.”
NZCSA vice-president Rosa Guo said they expected around 250 people to attend the public meeting. “People are feeling a lot of fear and we want to help them feel safe and teach them how to protect themselves,” she said when speaking of the event.
President of the VUW Asian Law Students’ Association Juha Kim said what was happening in Auckland was really sad and that he wasn’t aware of any such incidents happening in Wellington – something he said was “probably due to a smaller population of Asians in Wellington”.
Police have advised students to avoid flashing expensive technology, walk on well lit streets at night, and walk in pairs or groups when possible.