A billboard for a Hamilton Sikh city council candidate has been defaced with the name "ISIS" in black paint.
Yugraj Singh Mahil features on the billboard with fellow candidate Anna Casey-Cox - both first-time candidates for Hamilton's east ward as part of the Community Voice group.
Mr Mahil found out about the billboard - on the corner of Carrington Ave and Vesty Ave - on Sunday night.
"I was not prepared for this sort of tag - very disgraceful and disrespectful," he told Newshub.
He says he has lived in Hamilton for 17 years without facing this sort of behaviour.
"I love this place. My two daughters were born here, and this is my home. I want to make this place better for everybody else to live."
Mr Mahil says he was prepared for possible discrimination in his election campaign.
"It's extreme. I was prepared before, but not up to this level. Our community is living in Hamilton from the last 100 years, and we have had a Sikh temple here since 1969."
The billboard was taken down as soon as the vandalism was discovered, and was cleaned off while the paint was still wet.
"This was a different kind of defacing of a billboard and it was just at a whole different level," Ms Casey-Cox told Radio New Zealand.
"I think it's just somebody who's not even thinking. It's just someone who is relatively ignorant has done it."
She hopes the incident leads to greater awareness around religious and cultural discrimination.