Tourism New Zealand has apologised for using the wrong South Korean flag on its website following criticism from Korean news site and local Korean community leaders.

The flag of South Korea, also known as the Taegukgi, has three parts: a white rectangular background, a red and blue Taeguk in the centre that symbolise a balance, and four black trigrams on each corner of the flag.

However, the flag used by Tourism NZ had four two black lines instead of the four trigrams.

Korea-New Zealand Cultural Association spokeswoman Diane Lee said TNZ's wrong flag use was "insulting" and "disrepectful" to South Koreans.


"For us Koreans, the flag is our identity and we believe TNZ should have gotten it right the first time," she said.

"They also had many opportunities to get it right but didn't do so."

Tony Keam, a Korean journalist and former director of World TV, wrote to Tourism Minister John Key in December requesting for the wrong flag to be replaced, but said no further action was taken.

The correction was made today after the Herald approached TNZ.

Spokeswoman Deborah Gray apologised for the delay in correcting the flags and for any offence it may have caused.

"It was never our intention to offend anyone," she said.

"We have sourced accurate files from our teams in market and expect to have them corrected on the site today."