NZ does have a problem with racial prejudice. This must rank as a significant problem for a country which is countenancing the benefits of foreign immigration and tourism. There are several problems:
1. Superficial contact by NZ citizens with foreigners
2. A significant disempowerment by New Zealanders
3. National stagnation and the associated poor government policy
NZ people don't really understand foreigners because they don't engage with them. They snub their noses at them, all the while preserving some public precept of 'political correctness'.
New Zealanders might well celebrate the democracy which gives them a pretense of empowerment or 'participation'. The reality is that democracy gives them no effective opportunity to engage on public policy, and if given the opportunity, a great many of them would lack the self-assuredness to do so anyway. Does that mean it should be denied them? No. Does it mean their opinions should carry some weight? No. It means democracy is a flawed concept. Nothing is right by 'virtue' of the majority believing it to be right. Facts are more important than perceptions, and it is merely protection of the facts by other members of society which protects people from realising so. It might be self-evident to people of science, or people held 'ultimately' accountable like doctors, engineers, and the like, but the reality is that our political system gives primacy to perceptions. So NZ's racists can preserve their values along with their anonymity.
NZ is the farm. It might have a high number of foreigners living here, but that is just the 'appearance' because most of them are born in 'compatible' countries like the UK, America, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
Perhaps the best opportunity for dispelling racist beliefs is to allow people to comprehend the value of others. One of the problems getting work for foreigners is the prejudice in the community. It is very hard. A foreigner needs the validation of a Westerner in order to get recognition. It is easier where a NZ'er has lived overseas. It is easier in the cities and those areas with significant tourism or Asian communities. I was out for dinner last night, and the waitress did not even acknowledge my Asian guests. They are fluent English speakers...and yet there was perhaps an unwillingness to deal with them. They might not have noticed unless I pointed it out.
Racism is a form of ignorance to be sure...but we can say that about anything. More significantly it is a failure to think...a failure to judiciously gather evidence, make differentiations when necessary, and to recognise that whilst generalisation is part of the knowledge formation, so it understanding the context (i.e. Pertinent factors). The problem is these people are not thinking because they have been protected. NZ is a protected socialist state, and so long as it lives behind the coveted protection of farm exports and regulated property prices, it is not going to succeed.
It is always my way to blame government because in most cases the folly extends back to government policy, or the culture which is embedded in the same values which preserves our democratic tradition. Mindless democracy. Until people are challenged intellectually, this country is no going to prosper, and if we step outside moral relativism, the entire world will be held back in absolute terms.
The historical legacy needs to change or NZ will be left behind. You might think 'all well and good', but the reality is that NZ needs foreign population because of the brain drain of the 'more astute' New Zealanders to Australia...if not further afield. Australia steals NZ minds right out of university. NZ needs to change its model or its just going to drift backwards until the day it makes a huge oil discovery. You live in hope!