<p>The property was in Christchurch, New Zealand</p>

The property was in Christchurch, New Zealand

Airbnb guest shocked by host’s discriminatory signs banning Maori

‘No Māori to be spoken on these premises,’ read one inflammatory sign

Helen Coffey
Monday 22 November 2021 09:39
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An Airbnb guest was shocked to find discriminatory signs displayed in the property they had booked.

Ameen Makani had made a last-minute booking at a home in Christchurch, New Zealand and was chatting with the owner for half an hour before he noticed three signs stuck on the living room door.

Entitled “Important Notice to Visitors”, the signs read: “No Māori to be spoken on these premises” and “We live in NEW ZEALAND. Please don’t refer to our country as ‘Aotearoa’ [the Maori name for the country]”.

Makani said he would never have expected it from the host, a man in his seventies who seemed perfectly pleasant.

“He’s charismatic, he’s well-travelled and he’s kind. You could strike up a conversation with this man and probably chat for hours,” he told escape.com.

“I was wary that I am in someone else’s home and if they can be this forthright with their perspectives, then there’s no telling what else they are capable of or how they may react.

“Why does he feel 10ft tall and bulletproof when he knows others are going to openly read what would be deemed as some seriously controversial comments?”

He added: “What I most certainly have never seen before and never hope to again, is the absolute confidence in which this man has blatantly showcased his instructions for his guests to see.”

After being notified of the issue, Airbnb suspended the listing while it investigates and refunded Makani in full for his booking.

“We take reports of discrimination very seriously. We have provided the guest with a full refund and suspended the listing as we continue to investigate,” said Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for New Zealand and Australia.

“We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.”

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