18 May 2019

Police investigate racist online forum post

6:39 pm on 18 May 2019

Police are investigating a racist post in an online forum used by University of Auckland students, which contains allusions to violence against Asians.

Auckland, New Zealand - March 1, 2017: Sign and logo of University of Auckland set near modern dark gray offices in green park like environment. Gray sky.

The post was published in an online forum used by University of Auckland students. Photo: Claudine van Massenhove

The post, tagged with the hashtag "make NZ white again" and littered with racist slurs and allusions to violence, was made yesterday on a Reddit forum.

Police said they were making inquiries about the post. They understood it had been taken down.

However, the post was still on the front page of the forum after police answered questions about it this afternoon.

A University of Auckland staff member has warned an Asian student to stay away from campus because of the threat.

The staff member and student did not want to be identified out of fears for their safety.

University of Auckland spokesperson Lisa Finucane said there was no suggestion the post suggested a threat.

"The student who brought the post to the university's attention feels vulnerable and we acknowledge this.

"She has received support from the university and has informed the police."

The spokesperson said the university's security team had been in touch with the police.

The university did not tolerate bullying or harassment of any sort, the spokesperson said.

"The University is working with the AUSA (Auckland University Students' Association) to ensure students as well as staff understand expectations and also how to respond if bullying, harassment or discrimination are experienced or witnessed."

A report into bullying, harassment and discrimination released by the Auckland University Students' Association earlier this month has found some students experience systemic and pervasive hate at the university.

Last month, RNZ spoke to Auckland University students fearful of a movement they said had ramped up in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

University Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon dismissed the claims describing them as "utter nonsense".

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