Angry Irish emigrants have slammed reports in the New Zealand media claiming an increase in sexually transmitted diseases amongst workers involved in post-earthquake rebuilding.
An article on the Stuff.co.nz website has stated that Irish workers are spreading sexual diseases as they help to rebuild Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake.
The report, with a headline reading ‘Luck of the Irish has sex-disease downside’, claims that Irish workers ‘sharing the love’ on the rebuilding project have also contributed to an increase in cases of sexual diseases in the Canterbury region.
Dublin based website TheJournal.ie reports that the New Zealand outlet claims that Chlamydia has been on the increase since 2011 and that the number of Irish people attending a sexual health clinic in Christchurch has increased from 75 last year to 162 this year.
The article also quoted a local doctor who stated that New Zealand women have higher STI rates than in other countries. The doctor also said that ‘many of the local women found the Irish accent alluring’.
The New Zealand website says the Christchurch clinic has recorded the nationalities of those attending in the past number of years but that only details for Irish people are available.
That has angered Irish emigrants to the Canterbury region who claim they are being unfairly portrayed by the news website.
They also says the site has previously published articles enforcing stereotypes about Irish people.
One poster on the ‘Irish people living in New Zealand’ Facebook page described the article as ‘racist’.
The Journal adds that the author of the story posted on the page that she was merely ‘reporting the facts’ as told to her by the local hospital.
She had promised to publish the stats for other nationalities attending the clinic when they are available.