District council and media hype around a foreign art gallery is overshadowing the need for a local Maori tourism venture, a Whangarei hapu says.
The Whangarei District Council is conducting a community survey to guide its decision on whether to build an art gallery designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Te Parawhau hapu spokesperson Marama Waddell said the Hundertwasser project had no place in Whangarei and did not belong there.
There had been plans for many years to develop a local Maori Tourism Centre, and that was what the district needed to put its weight behind.
Ms Waddell said an authentic Maori venture had to take priority over a foreign project.