Playboy playmate Jaylene Cook, who posed naked for a photo atop Mt Taranaki, has apologised for offending people - but said she would do the same thing again.
The glamour model, who is touring the country with her photographer boyfriend Josh Shaw, posted the photo to Instagram which has attracted more than 9000 likes.
Cook, 25, defended her decision to go nude, saying she and her partner did their research on the history and cultural beliefs around Mt Taranaki before hiking to the summit.
"There was nowhere that we read or were told that it was a bad thing to do, and we believe that it still wasn't. We see nudity as art and pure and natural," she told Newstalk ZB's Larry Williams.
It was a "last-minute decision" to do the shoot at the top of the mountain.
"By the time we got there we just felt the need to strip off and embrace it."
Her boyfriend also stripped off for the camera, she added.
"I respect everyone's views and opinions and I'm sorry that people felt we were being disrespectful - that was never our intention," she said.
But given the chance she would do the same thing again.
"We've had overwhelming support from local Maori and people from everywhere saying they're not offended at all - they love the photo and it's encouraged them to embrace their bodies as well."
But one Maori academic said the photo was culturally insensitive and disrespected the mountain.
Dr Dennis Ngawhare, who is chairman of Taranaki iwi's Puniho Pā, said the photo was inappropriate given the mountain's summit is sacred to Maori.
It was a classic example of the clash between Western and indigenous values, Ngawhare told Williams.
"I'm sure they've done it with the best of intention and it's an aesthetically pleasing photograph but we do considerate it inappropriate."
Local iwi have a "constant battle" to stop inappropriate behaviour that happens on top of Mt Taranaki, he added.
Stratford Mayor Neil Volzke weighed in on the issue, saying the stunt was unexpected and culturally insensitive.
Cook was given the title of Playmate after she was featured in Playboy Mexico in January.
Cook was originally from Waikato before moving to the Gold Coast in Australia.