Woman allegedly assaulted for speaking Maori

Woman allegedly assaulted for speaking Maori

An Auckland woman assaulted on New Year's Eve alleges she was struck because she is white and was speaking Te Reo.

Shona Maiden was punched so hard by a man as she left a bar in Howick on New Year's Eve, she lost five teeth.

Her night turned sour once it was time to leave, after farewelling friends with "ka kite ano".

"This guy came up and said how dare I speak that language, palagi [a white or non-Samoan person], and [he] started going a bit beyond that, calling me fat, white [and] abusing the sh*t out of me," Ms Maiden says. "I turned around and told him to 'F off', and next minute I was knocked out."

Five days on, the pain – physical and emotional – is still raw.

While admitting to having had a few drinks, Ms Maiden says she wasn't drunk and the man's response went way too far.

"How dare anyone of any nationality say anything to anyone. It's just wrong," she says. "He doesn't know what that few punches – how it's turned my life."

Ms Maiden also accuses the bar's bouncers of attacking those who came to her aid.

The manager wasn't in when 3 News turned up today and didn't return calls for comment.

Late this afternoon police told 3 News they have identified the other person involved in the incident, and they're now seeking CCTV footage and witnesses to clarify exactly what happened.

It was a bruising start to 2016, but Ms Maiden is doing her best to move forward.

"I've got kia kaha written on me, which is in Maori, "be strong". [It's] tattooed on me. And I will be."

3 News