Vandals have thrown a tile through the door of an Auckland sushi shop in what the Korean owner believes may have been a "racist attack".

The tile appears to have been taken from a pile of construction materials left outside the Albert St shop by contractors working on the $4.4 billion city rail link.

Shop owner Kiwoon Keum, 62, said the vandals may have seen a television interview last week in which he complained about losing 60 per cent of his customers because of the rail link construction work, which has blocked the footpath just north of his shop.

The footpath is closed just north of Keum's shop. Photo / Supplied
The footpath is closed just north of Keum's shop. Photo / Supplied

"They broke only the window [in the door]," he said. "They didn't come inside. The alarm went off and they ran away.

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"I was showing on Prime TV news on Thursday. Maybe some people don't like to come out and talk to my complaints about the council.

"Just they broke the window and nothing happens. It's something like abuse, showing hate. We don't like that, it's very upsetting because of the discrimination."

Sunny Kaushal, the organiser of a group of 16 Albert St businesses seeking compensation for loss of business caused by the rail link, said he didn't think the attack was racially motivated, but he said most of the 16 businesses were Asian-owned and felt they were not being treated fairly.

"If they were owned by Europeans or Māori, I think the treatment would have been very different," he said.

Keum, who has owned the shop for 16 years, said his revenue had suffered for two and a half years and dropped from $3000 a day to $1300 a day since the latest barricades were put up on his block three months ago.

Kiwoon Keum believes an attack on his Albert St sushi shop at the weekend may have been racially motivated. Photo / Supplied
Kiwoon Keum believes an attack on his Albert St sushi shop at the weekend may have been racially motivated. Photo / Supplied

"I cannot pay to my landlord almost one year. My landlord knows how very hard the situation is," he said.

"Also I cannot pay some taxes because I have had to put money to wages and materials and things like that. So one year I cannot pay GST, you know like this, but nobody help to me."

He said he had laid off his two staff and he and his wife now did everything, including cleaning the shop.

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The Chinese owner of a restaurant next to his shop had closed down and returned to China.

Keum has survived only because he also has a Queen St shop, which is still profitable.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Transport Minister Phil Twyford both said last week that the Government was talking with businesses about some form of support, but Kaushal said there had been no negotiations with any of the 16 businesses in his group.

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Keum said that in Korea a condition of big construction projects was that builders paid compensation upfront to any affected businesses before they could start building.

He said the contractors should not have left unsecured construction materials on the road.

"Nobody secured the stone, they threw to my window. They should secure their stone," he said.

Piles of construction materials have been left unsecured on the street. Photo / Supplied
Piles of construction materials have been left unsecured on the street. Photo / Supplied

A City Rail Link spokesman said the company "takes its responsibilities seriously to keep businesses and people safe around all its work sites".

"It will contact the business involved, the police and its contractors to seek further information about this incident and if project construction was involved," he said.

"We keep people – residents and business owners - informed of work activities, sight lines around buildings are kept as clear as safely as is possible, footpaths are kept clear, and additional lighting has been installed along sections of Albert St.

"CRL Ltd's suppliers conduct Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) audits to ensure sites are safe from a crime prevention point of view. CRL Ltd implements recommendations an audit may make."

A police spokeswoman said police were making enquiries into the incident.

"The report was received at 12.55pm today, however it is unknown at this stage what time the damage occurred."