A young father he claims he was the target of a racial tirade and told "why don't you go back to China" and "take your Covid-19 with you" during an evening walk with his family.

But, the man accused of being racist is mortified he is being portrayed that way saying the words came out in the heat of moment after the father started yelling at him and threatening to kill a young pup which triggered the outburst after it escaped.

The latest incident comes as Race Commissioner Meng Foon warns more racial issues - particularly targeted at Asian people - could occur as tensions are high and people start to interact with each other again.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website


The man, who wanted to be known as Rob, said he, his wife and 12-year-old and 4-year-old sons were walking around their Swanson neighbourhood on Saturday night when they spotted a Siberian husky about 100m away who he believed was acting erratically.

But as the dog got closer, Rob started barking at it in an attempt to deter it.

He then quickly removed his youngest son from the pram and used it as a barrier between him and pooch which he said was trying to attack them.

"This dog caught scent of us and approached us and he was really going to attack."

One of the dog's owner's came out and said he couldn't catch him, he claimed.

"I said you really need to control your animal ... because I'm ready to hit your dog with this pram."

Another man then appeared from the same house.

Rob said he asked whether the dog had bitten their son and he said he replied that it wasn't the point and that he needed to control his animal.


Rob said the man, who appeared to be in his 40s, got really angry and looked like he was about to hit him.

It was at this point Rob's wife started videoing the argument on her iPhone.

The argument then turned into what he describes as a racist attack and the dog owner's friend can be heard saying: 'Why don't you go back to China you bloody ... take your Covid-19 with you.'

The family is Filipino, but Rob said the man had assumed they were Chinese.

But the dog's owner told the Herald he raced out as soon as he realised the dog had escaped and apologised profusely to the family.

He said the dog wasn't aggressive or barking and was just an excited pup.

The dog owner said he started feeling really scared when Rob started wielding the pram threatening to kill the dog. After he managed to chased the pup off, he then thought Rob was going to hit him with it.

The dog owner's friend then came outside to see what the commotion was and went to run after the dog. The friend said Rob started waving the pram at him and grabbed him by the arm.

The friend said he told Rob he would call the Police because he was assaulting him. He said he yelled out to the neighbours to call 111, but no one did.

"I didn't lay a finger on the guy".

The friend was mortified about what was being portrayed on the video which he claimed only showed a small portion of what happened. He said he was not racist at all and said the comments in pure anger. He said Rob kept arguing with them and he just wanted him to leave, which is why he had said 'why don't you go back to China'.

He said he shouldn't have added "and take your Covid-19 with you" and doesn't know why he did.

At least 13 neighbours then came out to see what the commotion was and tried to intervene. One neighbour can be seen using his hands and body to diffuse the situation.

Rob walked away, but said he had been unaware that during the altercation the dog had still been loose and can be seen chasing his older son in the background.

The dog's owner said the boy was running away from the dog so the dog started chasing him like it was a game. He said he tried to tell the boy to stand still.

Both parties said they were still shaking from the incident.

The family have laid a complaint with police about the have labelled a racial attack, and another with Animal Control about the dog being loose.

The dog's owner and friend are now also laying assault complaints against Rob.

A police spokesperson confirmed they had received a report relating to a verbal altercation which took place in Swanson on Saturday evening and were making inquiries into the incident.

Auckland Council Animal Management manager Kerri Fergusson said staff were called out to an incident involving a husky on Saturday evening but were unable to locate it at the provided address or in the surrounding streets. They are continuing to make inquiries into its whereabouts, including patrolling the area.

Race Relations commissioner Meng Foon said it was really disappointing that there had been a tirade of racist comments and it was not the first incident that occurred.

"Racism and discrimination is not tolerated anywhere. I know it is a very sensitive time during Covid-19 so we as a commission are doing all we can to put out messages regarding how to keep safe."

Foon said the best thing to do was to try and avoid any confrontation, but if it was unavoidable then the victim should take down all the details and report it to police.

"It is actually going to be quite dangerous for Asian people more particularly. There has been an increase in reports to police and NetSafe analyst of Artificial Intelligence data in lockdown it was more focused on internet abuse, but as people come out there's going to be more visibility so there is a high probability there are going to be more race-based issues come to the fore."

Foon had written to the leading teaching groups warning them that particularly Asian children could be taunted by racist remarks as kids returned to school and urged them to teach kindness, respect and tackle racial matters head on.

North Shore attack: Police make three arrests after alleged 'racist' attack on teens
'I don't feel safe in my country': Teenagers bottled in racist attack at North Shore park
Sushi shop door smashed in possible 'racist attack' in Albert St, Auckland
Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes arrested over 'racist attack'