Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Faces Lawsuit from Kiwi Rights Group for Racism

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By Reissa Su | December 31, 2013 6:43 PM EST

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is under fire for running articles depicting New Zealanders as "backdoor migrants" and "dole bludgers." Kiwi rights group in Australia OzKiwi is considering legal action against the media company for its racist label of Kiwis.

In a TVNZ report, OzKiwi's David Faulkner was shocked by the articles featured in the Saturday edition of Brisbane's Courier Mail, Northern Territory News and other papers under the Murdoch-owned News Corp. Headlines like "Kiwi layabouts are flooding in" and "immigration back door" are referring to stereotypes of New Zealanders, according to Mr Faulkner.

He remarked that the articles had dubious figures and racially charged statements against Asians and Pacific Islanders. The Kiwi rights lobby group believes News Corp has violated Australia's Racial Discrimination Act.

Mr Faulkner accused the media company for promoting myths of Kiwi dole bludger and the idea of New Zealand being used by migrants as a "backdoor" to Australia. The articles were allegedly nothing more than a "racist beatup" based on faulty statistics.

OzKiwi has sent a letter of complaint to News Corp regarding the issue. The group has amassed over a thousand signatures in support of a massive class action against the Mr Murdoch's media company. Mr Faulkner has threatened to push through with the lawsuit unless News Corp will issue an apology and retraction.

According to Mr Faulkner, statistics only proves the opposite of the controversial statements about Kiwis. He said as of July 2012, the unemployment rate for Kiwis living in Australia was at 4.8 per cent compared to native Australians at 4.9 per cent.  

There were more New Zealand-born residents in the workforce than Australians at 78.2 per cent and 68 per cent respectively. Mr Faulkner reiterated it was dangerous for both New Zealand and Australia to promote the bludger stereotype.

The Courier Mail has claimed that many migrants from Asia and the South Pacific have been using New Zealand to avoid Australia's strict migration policies. Mr Faulkner remarked that the public might get the wrong idea about New Zealand.

OzKiwi observed that the timing of News Corp's coverage is "ironic" since the number of New Zealanders moving to Australia has declined since 2012.

Australia Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the government was aware of the problems some New Zealanders face in the country. Mr McCully advised Kiwis who are planning to move to Australia to make sure they know their rights. 

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