Shane Hansen is stubborn.

So when a campervan hire company copied his artwork on vans without his permission he wasn't going to let it go. And he's glad he didn't.

After filing a claim in the Auckland High Court against Escape Rentals last year, which was followed by months of discussions and negotiations, the New Zealand company issued a public apology to the Tutukaka artist.

"I wanted to show others that you can actually stand up for something. Heaps of artists have opened up to me and said the same thing happened to them or a friend and they've done nothing about it," Hansen said.


"For me this is who I am and this is what I do and so I needed that apology in order to say that they acted unlawfully, and they did take that from me, and my moral rights were breached."

Hansen filed the claim in February last year after a friend texted him a photo of an Escape Rentals van he'd seen travelling around the South Island in January.

Hansen alleged the company copied five of his artworks and spray painted them on rental vans. He said this was a copyright infringement, a breach of his moral rights and a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

The court date was set for mid-July but the two parties reached a settlement outside of court and Escape Rentals posted the public apology on its website and Facebook page on Wednesday acknowledging it "crossed a line and copied a renowned NZ artist's work without consent or permission".

Brendon Pope, general manager of Escape Rentals, told the Northern Advocate the company regretted the mistake.

"We didn't mean to cause Shane Hansen any distress or disrespect, and we're certainly sorry if we have. This is why we've apologised. We've reached a settlement but more importantly we've learned a valuable lesson. We've made some changes to our approach to artwork, now everything we're doing is wholly original and I think that's a good thing."

Pope did not wish to comment further.

A Public Apology from Escape Rentals NZ : In 2013, Escape Rentals painted several of its vans with copies of artworks...

Posted by Escape Rentals on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Hansen, who affiliates to Tainui with Ngati Mahanga and Ngati Hine roots, describes his style as contemporary Maori/New Zealand art with a modern take on flora and fauna.

Hansen said he received reparation, which he could not go into detail about, but said the apology was what he pushed for so was happy to see it.

"I could've walked away earlier but I would have been gutted because I would've sold out ... I can be quite stubborn."

Hansen said he was considering using this experience to inspire a piece of artwork.