An online retailer selling shower curtains imprinted with portraits of two Northland chiefs has angered Maori leaders who say it goes against protocol.
Fine Arts America caused a stir after listing items such as shower curtains and cushions featuring images of Maori chiefs printed on them, including portraits by Gottfried Lindauer of Ngapuhi chief Tamati Waka Nene and Ngatiwai tupuna Paratene Te Manu.
Most of the items have since been removed but an image of Tamati Waka Nene is still online, allowing people the option of purchasing his image printed on shower curtains, duvet covers and pillows.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira - whose middle name is Tamati Waka Nene - said he was angry the website was making money from other people's ancestors.
"It's a measure of ignorance and racism that comes with profit and making a quick buck. That really gets me. If this guy wants to make money off his ancestors, that's his business but don't make money off ours."
Mr Harawira said it was particularly concerning the images were being sold as shower curtains and cushions.
"I know that image is used often and I know many people have that image on their wall as a mark of respect. That is fine, but putting it in places where your naked body might touch, that's not nice."
The shower curtains are being sold at about $93.
Ngatiwai Trust Board said they would be writing to the company after images of Ngatiwai chief Paratene Te Manu were also for sale.
Ngatiwai kaumatua, Paratene Te Manu (Sonny) Wellington, said he was disgusted.
"It is sad that a company is selling images of our Maori ancestors to make a dollar. The use of an image of my tupuna, Paratene Te Manu, is wrong and I am totally against it.
"In terms of tikanga it is insulting. It's like putting your backside on a table, you just don't do it," he said.
Ngatiwai Trust Board chairman, Haydn Edmonds, said he was disappointed the company thought it was appropriate.
"I think companies such as this have a moral obligation to at least ask, is it okay that we use these images? Clearly the answer would be no. Our aroha goes out to the whanau of Ngatiwai tupuna Paratene Te Manu. He was a rangatira of great mana, and the use of his image in this way is totally inappropriate and hurtful to the whanau."