Auckland Council investigating 'blatantly racist' employee

Dr Shahrzhad MacAvoy
Dr Shahrzhad MacAvoy Photo credit: Supplied

Auckland Council is investigating an orthodontist's claim that a building inspector was "blatantly racist" while checking her clinic. 

Dr Shahrzad Khayami MacAvoy had the final inspection for her Mission Bay clinic on Monday.

At the end of the inspection, upon learning the origin of the orthodontist's name, Dr MacAvoy says the inspector asked how long she had been in New Zealand for. 

"Since I was a baby, I'm Kiwi," Dr MacAvoy says she responded.

"No you're not," she says the inspector replied, before adding, "Unless you were hatched here, you're not a New Zealander.

"If I go to China, that doesn't make me Chinese."

The orthodontist said she and her receptionist were very upset following the confrontation.

Dr MacAvoy said the inspector, sent by the council, behaved cordially towards her receptionist and his demeanour only changed when she entered the room.

"My receptionist is a Caucasian woman and I am Iranian," she said.

"He was rude, impolite and blatantly racist."

Site inspected by Auckland Council employee
Site inspected by Auckland Council employee Photo credit: Supplied

Two variations to the consented plans, which Dr MacAvoy described as "minor", meant the inspector refused to complete his inspection. 

He said she would have to go through an amendment process.

Dr MacAvoy has lodged a formal complaint with the Auckland Council. 

"Why does it matter where my name comes from?" she asks.

"Why was this person even asking about how long I've been in New Zealand?"

In a statement, Auckland Council said it had been informed of the incident and was investigating. 

"Auckland Council takes allegations of this type of behaviour very seriously."