Shortland Street has angered many Tauranga locals who believe the TV2 show depicted their region as intolerant of homosexuals.
Several episodes this week have featured bisexual character Nicole (Sally Martin) complaining about the difficulties of coming out in the city as opposed to other areas of the country.
Another character, asexual Gerald, was told by Nicole’s mother that he had to change his clothing before he went out in Tauranga, implying that his attire would not be accepted in the city.
The general manager of Tourism Bay of Plenty Tim Burgess has expressed his anger over the episodes of New Zealand’s favourite soap, saying the topic has been widely discussed in the city over the past few days.
“Talk about a negative stereotype,” Mr Burgess said.
“The only positive thing I can say is they were pronouncing Tauranga and Mauao correctly.”
Mr Burgess is planning to write up a complaint to South Pacific Pictures expressing his disappointment.
“What a horrible and nasty thing to say about a city, to imply that. It’s really disappointing and lazy.
“What really annoyed me is that there was some suggestion we are not welcoming.”
Source: NZ Herald