He said the school’s Maori advisory committee had provided advice before the mural was painted but issues emerged only once the painting had been completed.

He said it was agreed the image would be altered after “lengthy” discussions with Maori elders.

Mr Solomon said another similar mural by Mr Bradley would replace it, adding that Mr Bradley would be paid for his time.

“I’m aware some people are disappointed,” Mr Solomon said.

Mr Bradley declined to comment on the situation, saying it was up to the school.

He had previously worked with Tikipunga High School, mentoring art students and helping them design and paint other murals in the school.

A Facebook post with photos of Mr Bradley’s original work was shared more than 350 times and had hundreds of comments expressing disappointment at the mural’s removal.

Charmaine Violet Turketo created the original post and said she “felt very strongly” for the artist whose work had been painted over “as if it was a piece of graffiti vandalism!”.

-Northern Advocate