Invercargill police are investigating reports of racist graffiti in the city.
A photo circulating social media shows a racist slur sprayed on the sign of kura kaupapa Te Wharekura o Arowhenua, a Māori medium school for primary and secondary students.
Principal Gary Davis confirmed a formal complaint with police had been laid.
"There is no way we can support or condone these sorts of degrading and racist comments but I'm convinced once this person gets over their personal hurt, they will realise the hurt they've caused to others."
He invited whoever spray painted the racist slur to come and see him.
"If that happens, they will hear our hurt but more importantly, they will hear our love.
"Love will always overcome evil."
In a statement, police said they were aware of two incidents of graffiti in Invercargill: one at a school and another at a residential address.
Police said they were taking both matters seriously and officers would be patrolling in and around Invercargill's Newfield community to provide reassurance.
Anyone who might know who is responsible is asked to call police via 105 and quote file number 201222/5669.