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Art Deco Festival to amend programmes after using 'lambscape' of Te Mata Peak that offended local iwi

Napier's Art Deco Festival has now apologised after using a depiction of Te Mata Peak that offended local Māori as a rack of lamb in it’s festival programmes.

The ad by Hastings lamb exporter Ovation depicted the sacred landscape as a piece of meat. Te Mata Peak is a burial ground for tupuna (ancestors).

Ngāti Kahungunu Elder Rose Mohi told 1 NEWS she felt sick when she saw the ad.

"Insensitive, culturally unsound and I felt quite hot under the collar. I felt sick in my stomach," she said.

"We call that wāhi tapu. It's a special place for us. We don't mix food and tapu objects together," Ms Mohi said.

Iwi Ngati Kahungunu were also offended by the image.

"When you put a commodity on top of something that's an indication that they don't have an understanding of the cultural perspective," JB Heperi-Smith, Ngāti Kahungunu spokesman said.

Read more: Meat company pulls 'culturally unsound' ad showing Te Mata Peak as a rack of lamb

Ovation apologised yesterday and told 1 NEWS it would pull the ad from it’s website and promotional material.

However the ad has been used in hundreds of programmes disturbed for the Art Deco Festival in February.

The Art Deco Trust Board Chair Michael Fowler told 1 NEWS they are sorry for the error.

"The Trust, on notification from a complainant, has immediately amended the online version of the programme and undertaken to amend the remaining programmes for distribution."

"We will put procedures in place to ensure this does not occur again, and are deeply sorry for any distress caused by featuring this advertisement."

Te Mata Peak was at the heart of another controversy last year when winery Craggy Range built a walking track on the eastern face with resource consent.

Local iwi hadn't been consulted and the track is now due to be removed.

Ovation ad in Napier Art Deco Festival flyer.
Ovation ad in Napier Art Deco Festival flyer. Source: 1 NEWS