Free Press Journal

Racially abused Indian awarded damages in New Zealand


Wellington: An Indian-origin liquor store owner and manager in New Zealand have been ordered to pay an Indian employee NZD45,000 ($32,800) in damages for racial harassment. Satnam Singh said he suffered racial abuse, culminating in physical assault, while he worked for two months at Scorpion Liquor in Aucland’s Mt. Roskill area, the New Zealand Herald reported.

A court said Satnam Singh was also paid less than the minimum wage, earning between NZD6-7 ($4-5) an hour. Store manager Shane Singh and his mother Raj Devi, who owns the business, have not responded to the claims yet. Satnam Singh took the part-time job in January 2012 after coming to New Zealand on a student visa.

During his two months at Scorpion Liquor, Shane Singh frequently made references to “f…ing Indians” and referred to Indian students as “Indian dogs”. The abuse climaxed on March 6, 2012 with Shane Singh hitting Satnam Singh on the head with a clipboard, knocking off his turban and a cap he wore on top. He then told Satnam Singh: “If I see you again, you’ll lose your turban and your teeth.”

Satnam Singh did not return to the store after the incident, the court said. The defendants were ordered to pay NZD45,000 in damages – NZD10,000 higher than was sought – for humiliation and loss of dignity.