The Hurricanes have admitted a post that used the phrase "Taranaki Land War" to promote a Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs was a bad call.
The post, which appeared briefly on the Hurricanes' Facebook and Twitter pages last night, was immediately lambasted on social media as naive, ignorant and offensive.
Stuff.co says the post has since been removed.
The Taranaki Land Wars began in 1860, following a dispute over the sale of Te _tiawa land at Waitara in North Taranaki. It lasted until the end of the 19th Century.
It is unclear how many lost their lives in Taranaki alone, but the New Zealand land wars are believed to have claimed about 3000 lives.
Next, to a screenshot of the Twitter post, Leonie Pihama wrote: "This is disgusting. Do you have any idea how many of our people were murdered and our women raped in the land wars."
Another Twitter user, Darrin Cassidy, commented: "A case of marketing without cultural and social conscience. It's sport, not war."
The Taranaki Rugby Football Union was associated with the Hurricanes super rugby franchise for 17 years until, in 2013, the union split and sided with the Chiefs.
The Hurricanes take on the Chiefs at 7.35pm Friday.
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