Rotorua councillor calls out Coronavirus racism

By Kereama Wright

Rotorua councillor, Fisher Wang, is calling out racism against Asian people regarding the origins of the Coronavirus. He says public reaction towards the Asian community is very rude and disappointing to see. 

It is a deadly virus that has now spread to 19 countries around the world.   

Rotorua Lakes councillor Fisher Wang says, "We're all concerned. We don't want it in New Zealand." 

While no case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Aotearoa at present, there is one suspected case currently being monitored at Auckland Hospital.

As fear grows about the virus' spread, social media is rife with racist posts across the country.

"What they've said is why don't we send them all back to where they came from and why aren't we doing more? But it was kind of send them back to where they came from," Wang says. 

"They didn't talk about whether it was tourists or whether it was locals that had been here for generations."

Wang was born in Aotearoa, his family moved from Taiwan 20 years ago.

Although he is a councillor for Rotorua Lakes Council, he has been subjected to racism in these past few days.

"Some of the messages I have received myself have been along the lines of why don't you take your face mask off and head back to your own country with your thin small eyes? 

"There's been a few other messages that have included some very rude words, which I won't repeat here. But It's just really disappointing to see." 

There are 15,000 suspected cases of Coronavirus across the world at the moment. Wang says we all need to look at the bigger picture.

"It's a time when everyone needs to come together and work on prevention, work on a cure, and help support those family members, the communities, the people who have been affected."