Kmart denies racially profiling Māori teen

By Leah Te Whata

A Hamilton teen has spoken out after alleged racial profiling by staff at Kmart Te Rapa.

Sixteen-year-old Daejarna Davis says she spent $70 on clothes and makeup at Kmart while shopping with her sister last Thursday and claims she was followed by staff.

“From the moment I walked in, I was under surveillance. Staff members were following me through the store and pointing at me.”

“I felt so uncomfortable, I felt humiliated and I was being discriminated against. Would they have done this if I had blonde hair and blue eyes? I don’t think so, I just wanted to be treated with dignity.”

She alleges she was patted down and searched on exit without permission. She's taken to social media, calling for Kmart to review its practices.

In a statement to Te Kāea, Kmart said, “We have reviewed the CCTV footage and several witness accounts of the interaction with this customer and can confirm that there was no contact made between the customer and team member, nor was there any comment made by the team member that referred to race.”