A LIVING NIGHTMARE:
Stand-over Tactics and Targeting of a Chinese-origin Restaurant Owner in Mt Roskill, and his plea to local Police.
The iconic Domination Road Restaurant area of Mount Roskill is a haven for international foods, and is often referred to as “The United Nations of Restaurants”. For at least one restaurateur however, there is nothing just or equal about his experiences trying to go about his daily work. William Zhao bought his family here two years ago, and became embroilded in a living nightmare he cannot escape.
In the two years since he opened his small family-run business, he has been bashed, threatened, vandalised, stolen from and repeatedly victimised by a local unemployed man.
The nightmare began when opportunistic local spotted the restaurateur smoking on a break. Introducing himself, he asked to buy a cigarette, then asked for food. “The first I gave him the food. After that he just came to the shop very often and asked for the food. He said I only have $5 and he paid just this amount (instead of the full price) 3 or 4 times on visits. After that he just asked for food for free”. On one occasion, the owner was absent, and his elderly father, not recognising the local, refused the free food. The man retaliated by smashing the shop window.
When the restaurateur returned he called police to report the incident, which came and took photos. He named and described the “customer” but was told by the police that if he had no evidence it was this individual who had smashed the window, they were powerless to pursue the act of vandalism or alleged stand over tactics.
“Because you are Asian, you are very fragile, you don't know how to fight back. Maybe if he was a Kiwi, the situation would change”. Since the window incident, the man has returned and punched the restaurateur in the face, swearing at him, and cars outside the restaurant are now regularly broken into every week.
The restaurateur now gives the man free food on demand.
William says he worries about the very distinct lack of police presence in such a busy metropolitan area. He calls on the Auckland police to pursue the man, and to increase their presence in the area, in effort to prevent further further violent crime.
The NZ People's Party commends this man's efforts to bring highlight an injustice which could well be happening to other immigrant business owners who are simply too fearful to speak out.
WeChat To the Rescue
With law and order being one of the main concerns to people living in Mt Roskill the NZ People's Party has identified a major reason for the Mt Roskill Chinese Community being targets of crime. Victims told us the NZPP that they don't call Police due to a language barrier. Long term the NZ People's Party will advocate for language identification technology to be implemented on the emergency 111 service which is already used in other law enforcement agencies around the world. To help people immediately through the party is looking to set up a 24 hour emergency translation service from the Balmoral Road office that they are due to move into next month. The service would allow individuals and businesses to call the office and be able to relay their emergency to a bilingual operator who will then call emergency services on their behalf. As well as this the party is also looking to establish an official WeChat channel for direct communication from mobile devices if using a phone could be deemed to be unsafe. The messaging platform is especially popular in the Chinese community and the NZ People's Party is open to use any and all technology available to help protect all people.