A Kiwi entertainer sentenced to home detention for attempting to derail a rich–lister's trial continues to feature at the Tāmaki Herenga Waka permanent exhibition at Auckland War Museum.
Mika Haka was sentenced to 11 months home detention after admitting two charges of attempting to dissuade and bribe an indecent assault victim from giving evidence against a wealthy businessman.
Tāmaki Herenga Waka - Stories of Auckland is designed to share the diverse stories of the people and places that is Tamaki Makaurau.
The Activate/Maranga gallery examines Auckland through stories of activism, conservation, revitalisation and innovation. It is also where one of Mika's costumes is on display along with 500 collection objects and 25 films which showcase a diversity of experiences.
A man who recently visited the museum and doesn't want to be identified told the Herald he was outraged Mika was included in the exhibition.
"It was pretty unfathomable a few days after the sentencing to walk into the Auckland Museum after a man who tried so hard to keep his name secret for all of the wrong reasons is there at a publicly-funded exhibition for all of the wrong reasons.
"What message does it send after finding out the lengths he went to keep such an offensive secret that the museum was all too willing to keep something that celebrates his work so publicly, the man said."
The museum's director of collections and research, David Reeves said in a statement: "Mika was an influential character in both the K Rd community and the Auckland performance community in the 1990s and 2000s.
"Auckland's colourful urban diversity is important to present and the costume will resonate with many, especially the rainbow community and people familiar with Mika's performance career. Through his advocacy for Takatapuhi/queer youth he has given others permission to explore their identity.
"Museums have a role to reflect the history of people and places without judgment. This is especially true of more contemporary galleries where recently documented people or events are most likely to resonate with the public."
Writer David Herkt, who has penned a history of gay Auckland, said he agreed with the museum's stance.
"Just because someone has done something wrong it doesn't mean you have to disparage everything they have done. We are all human beings, people make mistakes, people aren't perfect.
"I don't think being dodgy means his entire work should be cancelled. I have met plenty of dodgy heterosexuals in my life but it doesn't mean to say they reflect their dodginess on the whole community."
A spokeswoman for the Auckland Museum
said no formal complaints had been received from the public.
Auckland Councillor, Alf Filipaina, who chairs the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, said Auckland Museum was its own entity. He hadn't heard of Mika nor had he seen the exhibition.
"I don't want to be judge and jury, it's really up to the museum. They are governed by their own statute, that's the key thing here," Filipaina said.
Mika, who appeared in the Oscar-winning film The Piano, is well-known in the New Zealand arts scene. Recently he wrote and directed and starred in the award-winning short film Gurl.
His Mika Haka Foundation works in schools and the community to help young people through the performing arts and physical culture.