Hokitika's Christmas sign is being slammed as a "disgusting mispronunciation".
The Ho Ho Hokitika sign goes up on December 1 each year, but local man Caleb Robinson has posted on social media calling it an "insult".
"This [really] upsets me," he said in a Facebook post. "This is disgusting.
"Every year I complain about the intentional barstardisation of our towns [sic] name."
Robinson told Newshub Hokitika was a name of "very big significance".
"It's a name that's celebrated in carvings and in the stories that we tell in our houses."
Robinson said he'd complained to several councillors, including Westland District Mayor Bruce Smith, who Newshub has approached for comment.
"I've made public statements and statuses about it before," Robinson said. "It's stupid, there's no need for it.
"It's rather insulting, it's wrong and it shouldn't be there," he told Newshub.
Many social media users meanwhile agree with Robinson.
"True story Caleb, didn't even see it from that viewpoint, but yes it is cultural appropriation," one Facebook commenter said.
"Someone need [sic] to make a stand or just rip it down," another wrote.
It's the second time in as many days an incident was accused of being racist towards Māori. On Monday, pictures emerged of non-Māori Princess Cruises staff in garish skirts with scribbles on their faces welcomed passengers onto the Port of Tauranga.
Mayor Tenby Powell was appalled, saying the incident hurt the local community.