An exhibition featuring several swastika flags has been criticised for using imagery that is “offensive … deeply traumatising and threatening”.

The People of Colour exhibition ran at Auckland’s Mercy Pictures from October 16 to November 7.

The show featured hundreds of flags, including the tino rangatiratanga flag and Ngai Tuhoe’s flag, banners proclaiming “It’s okay to be white” and “White pride world wide”, as well as several with swastikas.

Juliet Moses, a spokeswoman for the New Zealand Jewish Council, said neo-Nazi imagery “represents a clear meaning and ideology that certain groups of people have no place in this world and are targets, which can leave them feeling vulnerable”.

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