An Australian tourism boss fears the booze-fuelled lifestyles of characters on hit new TV show The GC will turn Kiwis off travelling to the Gold Coast.

The GC - a "factual reality'' show following a group of young Maori on the Gold Coast _ was aired on TV3 on Wednesday night.

It was the channel's top rating show of the night, drawing more viewers than 3News and Campbell Live, and became a trending topic worldwide on Twitter.

But the show, which was granted $420,000 in NZ on Air funding, has also been written off by reviewers and is the subject of much criticism on social media.


Gold Coast Tourism chief executive Martin Winter said The GC had highlighted a small segment of the Kiwi community in Queensland whose lives were "less mainstream but potentially more entertaining for television audiences''.

"For The GC series to have a broader positive effect on the city it needs to successfully show the larger qualities of life in the region and avoid the cliched Jersey Shore format.''

Mr Winter said the show's producers needed to ensure the rest of the series showed off Queensland's beaches, attractions, entertainment and Australian lifestyle.

"It is up the producers to figure that out and the audiences to make up their own mind.''

Bailey Mackey, creator and executive producer of The GC, this morning defended the show as a positive depiction of young Maori living in Australia.

He told Radio Live he was disappointed at some of the insults aimed at the show's stars.

Much criticism of the show came from people who did not like seeing Maori people being portrayed positively on prime time TV, he said.

"A large segment of the dissenting voices that would still rather see Maori on the bottom of their shoe on Police Ten 7 and those sorts of shows.''

Mackey said the show had justified the funding given to it by NZ On Air.

"These are New Zealanders who currently reside in Australia. Yes they are Maori, they're proud of who they are.

"I just don't know... how people handle the depiction of young, good looking and confidently proud Maori people in prime time.''