Tourists want more Māori landmarks

Tourists from America and Canada have welcomed the idea of the Papatūānuku landmark proposed by Ngāti Whātua for Bastion Point saying culture is a main attraction for tourists.

American tourist Jimmy Inman says, "In order to highlight the culture, in order to pay homage to the culture, I personally as a tourist, an outsider if you will, I have no issues with that and no concerns."

Canadian tourist Antonietta Peluso says, "Any landmark that respects the heritage and the people of a country done respectfully is probably a good idea."

Inman is part of an American-based education group who give students an opportunity to learn about the customs and cultures of people worldwide.  He says a large cultural landmark would be a huge attraction.

"When you look at the Māori people as a whole or the indigenous people worldwide, when you have the opportunity to pay homage, that's something that should be taken into consideration, in particular when you look at the tourism industry.  One of the reasons why we're here is to experience that culture."

The landmark would stand between thirty and fifty meters tall. 

Antoinietta Pelusa agrees it'd garner a lot of attention.

"It would gain attention if it is that large, [it's] certainly out of character with some of the landmarks you have that I've seen so far."

Auckland Council has granted $1mil funding for the design and development of the structure.

However, there has been some backlash on social media saying that the focus should be on immediate social issues and not art.