A local body candidate has been the victim of an apparent racist attack on one of her billboards.

Rosa Chow is running as an independent for the Howick Local Board, and told the Herald she couldn't believe it when she saw someone had scrawled "KIWI?" on her hoarding.

"I was just in disbelief that people could be intimidating like that. It was obviously an act of hate, and it was something I don't understand."

Chow moved to New Zealand from Hong Kong in 1997, and is a New Zealand citizen.


She has had two of her signs stolen since she began campaigning, and her husband has been driving around before and after work to check on them.

"When one of my signs was stolen earlier on I didn't think it was personal ... I thought maybe someone just liked my photo and wanted to take it home, but after the graffiti it's obviously a bit different.

"I've done nothing wrong, I don't know why they've done this. What will come up next?"

She said she refuses to be put off by the vandalism, and will continue to seek election.

"There are more people out there who are supportive. These things happen, it is just ignorance and straining the harmony of the community."

Race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has also spoken out about racist graffiti on campaign signs, calling them "cowardly and ignorant".

"We've had several candidates standing for local government have their billboards attacked with racist graffiti. We appeal to the public to dob anyone in who is seen tampering with candidate signs."