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Key gives assurance to Chinese Aucklanders

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/08/2016

Prime Minister John Key has told Auckland's Chinese community that crimes against them are taken very seriously.

He believes some of them feel they're being targeted.

"I don't think they are, but one thing I wanted to do was reassure them," he said on Monday.

Mr Key's open letter, in Mandarin and English, has been published in a Chinese language newspaper and other ethnic media outlets.

He says he writes a regular weekly column for those media outlets, and one had asked for it to be in the form of an open letter this week.

"The column was turned into a letter, and it was broadly spread," he said at his post-cabinet press conference.

"There's a lot of small business owners, retail owners, taxi drivers, who who do see a degree of crime and it's always an issue they're concerned about.

"These's been a little bit of discussion amongst some of the community about people sort of taking the law into their own hands, basically arming themselves a bit more, and I think we're certainly trying to give them reassurance that that isn't a good thing to do and should be left in the hands of the police."

The New Zealand Herald last week reported that a series of crimes against Chinese victims had left the community fearing for their safety.

More than six in 10 of the 8500 Chinese who responded to a survey conducted by Auckland University researcher Andrew Zhu said they felt unsafe, and 92 per cent said they were not satisfied with the anti-crime response by the authorities.

Mr Key believes Monday's announcement by Police Minister Judith Collins that home burglaries were being treated as priority offences would help give people confidence.

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