20 Jul 2011

Brand Tuatara debate continues

10:16 pm on 20 July 2011

Brewer Tuatara says an American car manufacturer is free to use the name of a New Zealand reptile for its newly-produced vehicle.

Shelby SuperCars has branded its latest high spec model the Tuatara.

It says the reptile has the fastest evolving DNA in the world, a perfect fit with a supercar maker.

A member of Ngāti Koata - the traditional kaitiaki or guardians of the tuatara, Roma Hippolite - says if Shelby Cars knew the name was Māori, it could've at least consulted with them.

The general manager at Tuatara Breweries in New Zealand, Sean Murrie, suspects like itself Shelby didn't have to go through a consultation process because a number of companies use the tuatara brand.

Shelby SuperCars did not respond to calls.