New Zealand has become a new hotspot for twenty something Irish immigrants but now the new Irish workers in Christchurch are lamenting being labelled as feckless drunks with funny accents.
According to The Press, Irishman Skry Adamson, 33, said that for the five years he has lived in Christchurch there has 'always been a bit of a stereotype.'
'Since the earthquake, with a lot more Irish people coming here, I've definitely noticed things changing for the worse, and it's gone from being friendly banter to a bit more negative.'
'It's a laugh at first, but it gets pretty tiring when it's all the time,' he confessed. 'You do get labelled as a drinker, too, I've certainly noticed that. Maybe Kiwis go home after work and sit on the couch and we go to the pub for a beer, but that doesn't mean we're all drunks. We're a hard-working nation and I think they have it pretty tough constantly being stereotyped,' he added.
Nik Dodge, the co-owner of the Irishman pub in the city said she was 'very aware of the stereotype.'
'They do have to put up with a lot of 'oh, the Irish are always drunk' kind of stuff, but it's not true,' she said.
Rita Cahill, a structural engineer, told The Press she had encountered negative stereotypes all her life because she was Irish and did not drink.
'It's always been something that people can't get their heads around,' she said. 'It was like that at home, but it's been a bit worse explaining it to Kiwis because it's not what they expect.'
Williams concluded that local people needed to be 'a bit more careful' about stereotyping nationalities coming to Christchurch to help with the rebuild after the earthquake.
Earlier this month the New Zealand Employment Relations Authority found that the Christchurch-based carpenter Michael Corbett was abused at work for being Irish. He was awarded more than $13,000.
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