Creative New Zealand board member Erima Henare says the $300,000 a year spent maintaining the Toi Iho trademark for Maori artists was unsustainable.
Waatea News reports that Creative New Zealand is dropping its support for the trademark, which cost $1 million to establish in 2002.
Mr Henare from Ngati Hine says it only had a limited take-up, as many senior and successful Maori artists didn't feel they needed an outside agency to attest to their mana or the quality of their work.
He says in hindsight, with the recession, the money could have been better prioritised.
Mr Henare says Creative New Zealand is looking for an appropriate body to administer the mark for those artists who want to continue using it, but the funding will go back to Te Waka Toi for other funding categories.