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A Wanaka principal says a 'white supremacy'-themed after-ball party was an innocent mistake and not meant to cause offence.

The party, organised by Mount Aspiring College students in connection with their school, has shocked students and their parents.

One parent said the theme was "completely inappropriate" and immediately contacted school principal Wayne Bosley to complain, the Southland Times reported.

Mr Bosley hadn't known about the theme before the tickets were printed, the woman said.

"My question is, how did it get through staff before printing?

"It was marketed as all white but you don't use that wording. The name is just completely inappropriate for any school project," she said.

Sales of the tickets were stopped last night and new tickets were being printed with the theme `White Out'.

A student on the organising committee told the

Southland Times

they hadn't realised the connotations of the name.

The party was supposed to have the theme of wearing white clothing, and white boiler suits at Wanaka's Mitre 10 store had nearly sold out.

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"When we were deciding on the name it didn't even cross our minds. The way it is written, 'White Supreeemacy', was supposed to be like white supreme, white the dominant colour of the night. But once it was pointed out to us we thought we'd better change it," the student said.

- NZPA