23 Jan 2020

Use of nazi symbols: 'We must be vigilant to combat this hatred' - Holocaust Centre CEO

9:59 am on 23 January 2020

The police are investigating after neo-Nazi graffiti was spray-painted outside a synagogue in Wellington.

A swastika spray-painted outside Temple Sinai.

A swastikas outside the Temple Sinai. Photo: Supplied / Wellington City Council

The swastikas were discovered yesterday outside Temple Sinai.

Council staff removed the tagging by late morning.

Holocaust Centre of New Zealand chief executive Chris Harris said other neo-Nazi tagging was found on a Māori carving near Piha beach last week.

"We must be vigilant to combat this hatred - people need to realise that prejudice and discrimination have no place in our society," he said.

Harris said New Zealand is experiencing a growing trend of using Nazi symbols, anti-semitic actions and intolerance of diversity.

Wellington Jewish Progressive Congregation board chair Matthew Smith said his members were disgusted and worried after the incident.

"It's left our congregates feeling quite vulnerable - we were targeted very specifically - that is our place of worship - it is where we go on Saturday mornings," he said.

Smith said they would continue with this weekend's service and would have security out front as usual.

Police are investigating and say no arrests have been made.