New Zealand Airbnb guest finds signs saying: ‘No Māori language to be spoken’


New Zealand racism row as appalled Airbnb guest discovers signs in house saying: ‘No Māori language to be spoken’

  • Ameen Makani checked into an Airbnb property in Christchurch last weekend
  • He discovered three signs erected around the premises with rules for visitors
  • It said: ‘No Māori to be spoken on these premises’ and do not call NZ ‘Aotearoa’
  • Makani was shocked because the homeowner seemed kind and ‘well-travelled’ 
  • Airbnb has removed the listing and launched an investigation into the incident 










A New Zealand Airbnb guest says he is appalled after finding a note inside a property which demanded visitors refrain from speaking the Māori language. 

Ameen Makani made a last minute booking at a vacation rental in Christchurch over the weekend for a quick getaway from his home in Queenstown.  

But the relaxing trip turned tense when he checked into the home and discovered three paper signs titled ‘important notice to visitors’ placed around the living room.  

They all listed the same ‘racist’ rules, including ‘No Māori to be spoken on these premises’ and ‘We live in NEW ZEALAND. Please don’t refer to our country as ‘Aotearoa’.’

Mr Makani said he was taken aback because the Pakeha homeowner – who he spoke to for 30 minutes before spotting the signs – seemed ‘charismatic, well-travelled, and kind’.  

Ameen Makani (pictured) was left taken aback after discovering notices in a New Zealand Airbnb property ordering guests not to engage in indigenous customs

Ameen Makani (pictured) was left taken aback after discovering notices in a New Zealand Airbnb property ordering guests not to engage in indigenous customs 

‘You could strike up a conversation with this man and probably chat for hours,’ Mr Makani told the New Zealand Herald.   

‘What I most certainly have never seen before and never hope to again, is the absolute confidence in which this man has blatantly showcased his instructions for his guests to see.’ 

Mr Makani decided it was not worth confronting the man, aged about 70, about the signs, anticipating he would brush off his concerns as generational differences or insist ‘I’m not racist, I’m just having fun’.    

‘I was wary that I am in someone else’s home and if they can be this forthright with their perspectives, then there’s no telling what else they are capable of or how they may react,’ he told the publication.

Mr Makani said he does not want to name or rebuke the host, and does not view the country, the city, or those of European descent as bigots or racists.

A notice (pictured) erected in three places around the Christchurch property instructed visitors to not speak Maori on the premises and not call the country 'Aotearoa'

A notice (pictured) erected in three places around the Christchurch property instructed visitors to not speak Maori on the premises and not call the country ‘Aotearoa’

However, he hopes bringing the matter to light will spark conversations about addressing problematic perspectives. 

Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for New Zealand and Australia, said the listing has been removed from the site and an investigation has been launched into the incident. 

‘Discrimination is unacceptable and has no place in our community and we take reports of discrimination very seriously,’ he said.

‘We have provided the guest with a full refund and suspended the listing as we continue to investigate.  

‘We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.’

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Written by bourbiza

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