Racist harassment of a West Auckland family that included having their car tyres slashed and dead animals put in their letterbox was extremely disturbing, the Human Rights Commission says.

"Everyone has a right to feel safe, particularly in their own homes, and we hope the perpetrators are caught quickly," chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said.

The family's 35-year-old mother - who moved to New Zealand from South Korea a year ago and asked not be identified because of safety concerns - said she had endured five weeks of torment.

This culminated on Sunday when a threatening letter was put in their letterbox.


"Get the f*** out of my country motherf***** before I exterminate you myself, your cat eating son of a b***," the letter said.

Police are yet to catch those who tormented the family.

A nasty note was left in the family's letterbox. Photo / Supplied
A nasty note was left in the family's letterbox. Photo / Supplied

Hunt said the ordeal highlighted the need for a database listing how many criminal offences were motivated by hatred based on race, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

"At the moment, the police do not know how many of the crimes reported to them have been directed at victims because of these factors," he said.

"We need to better understand how many hate crimes are occurring in our community so we can work together to find solutions."

He said a report published by the commission this month called It Happened Here was filled with many examples of similar harassment between 2004-2012.

"And we have reason to believe there continue to be many such instances today."

The recent campaign of hate began on May 26 when a car parked in the family's garage in Massey and another on the street had tyres slashed.


The mother of the harassed family notified police, but they told her it was probably just mischievous teenagers.

She then put up CCTV cameras that caught the perpetrators on June 4 tagging a white car parked on the street with red spraypaint.

On June 11 and June 16, CCTV footage caught people leaving a dead mouse and then a dead pigeon in the family's letterbox. On Sunday, the threatening letter was left behind.

The mother said police then came to her house, bringing four cars and police dogs.

"But I do not understand why they could not find the guy. I still have not heard from the police about my case," she said.

Despite the CCTV cameras, police are yet to find the perpetrators.

Their car tyres being slashed was the first attack in an ongoing series of alarming incidents. Photo / Supplied
Their car tyres being slashed was the first attack in an ongoing series of alarming incidents. Photo / Supplied

The Massey community is now rallying around the terrified family and posting their support on a community Facebook page.

"This is horrific, I'm a local in Massey also and if this family needs any support, I'm always keen to help out," one user wrote.

"This kind of stuff needs to stop even if it is young teenagers."

"Scumbag doing this is a disgrace to our community," another user said.

The harrassment also "shocked and surprised" local councillor Peter Chan, who wants to meet the family to offer support.

The Henderson-Massey local board deputy chairman said council had been working hard to promote diversity.

"When I read this I was absolutely surprised and shocked.

"I would like to visit the family if they agree and try to help them get help."

He said he could connect the family to members of the Korean community and help them tap into other resources, like the neighbourhood watch.

"I still believe this is a peaceful country and people enjoy working together," he said.

Waitakere Area Commander Inspector Stefan Sagar said they had spoken with the family and carried out a number of inquiries.

"We will be continuing our inquiries, which will include speaking with neighbours on the street," Sagar said.

"We would like to reassure the public that police take matters of this nature seriously and will do everything we can to hold whoever is responsible to account.

"Police have spoken with the individuals concerned, have carried out a number of inquiries, including canvassing CCTV footage and undertaking a forensic analysis from the scene."

The family, made up of the mother, her husband and two preschool children, live in an otherwise quiet area of Massey, West Auckland.

They moved to New Zealand a year ago after hearing great things about the country, including its low rates of crime.

However, after a year without any hassles, the family is now on edge after being targeted in recent weeks.

"I feel so worried and threatened. If it was just one or two times, then I could move on," the mother said.

"I do worry about my family's safety. I am a mum."

The mother said neighbours on the street had comforted them after the attacks, and some checked on them each day to see that they are okay.

If anyone has information that could assist police, they should call Massey Police on (09) 839 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.