A former Hastings councillor is unrepentant about erecting a sign that critics say takes a cheap shot at Napier suburb Maraenui.
David Pearse confirmed it is his sign at the intersection of Flaxmere Ave and Wilson Rd, which asks passersby "Do we want Flaxmere to become another Maraenui?"
The sign also includes details for a "loveflaxmere" website.
Maraenui supporters say the sign is "name calling" and a "cheap shot".
Flaxmere Ward councillor Henare O'Keefe's social media post asking who put the sign up attracted multiple comments. Few, if any, supported the sign.
"I wasn't impressed at all to put it bluntly," O'Keefe - who had added "I love Maraenui" to his original post - later told Hawke's Bay Today.
"I was offended. We've got a lot of friends in Maraenui."
Napier city councillor Maxine Boag, whose Nelson Park Ward includes Maraenui, said the sign was "obviously derogatory" to Maraenui and to use it as an example in a "negative way" was a "cheap shot".
O'Keefe echoed social media sentiments demanding the sign come down and said he wanted it removed as soon as possible.
However, Pearse said if the sign comes down he'll "pamphlet" Flaxmere or take other steps to get the message across.
He said he's "passionate" about Flaxmere, and wants to draw attention to housing issues in the area.
Pearse cites a "Wikipedia" appraisal of the suburb that says it was "intended to be an upper-middle class subdivision but because land was subdivided into smaller lots it turned into a low-income neighbourhood".
Pearse says proposals to develop "the only remaining commercial land" in Flaxmere into housing, including "Kainga Ora" homes, is not in the best interests of the suburb.