Unemployed New Zealand Europeans say they are being shut out of jobs at Asian-owned businesses and franchises by employers who only employ other Asians.

"Migrants cry racism when they cannot get a job here. Well, if that's racism, then this is clearly reverse racism," said Leonard Brown, a redundant sales rep who had been seeking jobs in ethnic papers.

"I've sent out dozens of CVs, and none of them even reply."

Dan Hardy, a Massey University student, said: "I've tried gaining part-time work and have been given the cold shoulder by migrant businesses.

"If our future is Asian, then do Pakeha have a future if Asians do business only with Asians?"

A Massey University study, entitled "Bamboo Networks" found most Chinese employers in Auckland hired Chinese employees.

Researcher Paul Spoonley said this was because they needed workers who could speak Mandarin.

But Agnes Granada of the Migrant Action Trust said migrant business owners employed only "their own kind" because they had been shut out of mainstream jobs.

"Migrants have difficulties finding jobs in local companies, and many are forced to start their own businesses to survive," she said.

"So their attitude is to employ their own people."