An Indian taxi driver beaten and humiliated by Herne Bay party-goers says attacks on his community are not given enough attention until someone loses their life.

Jarnil Sandhu, who works for Auckland Co-op Taxis, was attacked by four men he drove on Saturday night from Herne Bay to Emily Place in the city centre.

When he asked for his fare, the men punched him to the ground and removed his turban, which is humiliating for a Sikh.

The Indian Society of Auckland said members of the Indian community were often more vulnerable to attacks because of their lines of business, such as working in dairies and liquor stores and as taxi drivers.

Mr Sandhu, 53, spent Sunday in hospital for treatment to bruising and swelling around his face and jaw, but said he was most hurt by the passengers' insults about his turban and the way they tried to steal it.

His wife, Manmeet Sandhu, said members of the Indian community faced far too much abuse. She was was seeking greater awareness of what she felts was racism.

Jagdish Natali, of the Indian Society of Auckland, said he knew of two violent attacks on Indian small-business owners in Blockhouse Bay in the past 10 days.

"Indians are hard-working people, they don't mind working long hours. It's unfortunate that they are being victimised by thugs."

Mrs Sandhu said she was surprised that her husband's passengers, who were in their mid- to late-20s, could be so immature.

The Sandhus, who have two daughters, moved to New Zealand 15 years ago to be safe.

"It was not our dream to live like this," Mrs Sandhu said.

Mr Sandhu will return to taxi driving because he has to support the family. In India he worked as a veterinarian, but found it too difficult to find work in that field here.

Inspector Barry Smalley of the police northern communications centre said assaults on taxi drivers were not common.