A 27-year-old woman has been arrested following an alleged racist attack on a woman in Huntly which was caught on video.

Mehpara Khan, 28, was on a road trip with friends yesterday when a stranger approached the group, who had stopped for a toilet break in Huntly.

Khan said racial abuse was hurled at the group and a can of beer thrown at them.

Police said in a statement this afternoon that "following an incident in Huntly" yesterday, a woman is in custody. She is facing charges of assault, assault with a weapon, and using offensive language.


She will appear in Hamilton District Court tomorrow.

Police said that after being provided with video evidence, staff "acted quickly" to make an arrest.

"Police do not condone threatening behaviour," said Waikato West Area Commander, Inspector Naila Hassan.

"Complaints such as these will always be thoroughly investigated by police, and victims should not hesitate to report incidents to us.

"While we appreciate the video will generate public discussion, the matter is now before the courts, and police do not intend to make any further statements."

Since posting the video, Khan, a corporate communications consultant, said she'd been flooded with support.

Police said that after being provided with video evidence, staff
Police said that after being provided with video evidence, staff "acted quickly" to make an arrest. Photo / via video

Islamic Women's Council spokeswoman Anjum Rahman said it was "very disappointing but not surprising" for such an attack to happen.

"Muslim women are often the ones who bear the brunt of attacks by strangers in public places. We get a lot of drive-by comments. People yelling at us.

"Many Muslim women have reported incidents in supermarkets, when they're just doing their own shopping. It does happen and it is disturbing whenever it happens."

Rahman said the attack directed at Khan was among the worst in recent months.

"With the stuff that's been happening in America, with the Muslim ban and so on, we've felt that people have actually come out and been more supportive and sympathetic, so it was sad to see this kind of thing happening.

"But the thing is that even though these are isolated attacks, what it is does is make people, particularly women within our community, a bit more afraid to be going out, a bit more afraid to be interacting with people. So I think it's important to take action on this."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bill English says he is unimpressed by the outburst aimed at a group of Muslim women when they stopped in Huntly.

English said he hasn't seen all the details, but if it's as described then it's a terrible thing.

He said it shouldn't happen and that anyone should feel safe in New Zealand being who they are.

English was speaking at Auckland's Big Gay Out event.