A "white supremacy"-themed after-ball party organised by Mount Aspiring College students for this weekend has shocked and outraged Wanaka parents.
Tickets for the party went on sale two days ago but angry parents have already called a halt after being shocked by the racial overtone.
One parent said her daughter was as surprised as she was when she brought the ticket home.
She immediately phoned the school principal, Wayne Bosley, to complain.
She said he told her it was an innocent mistake, but admitted he didn't know anything about it before the tickets were printed.
"My question is, how did it get through staff before printing?
"It was marketed as all white but you don't use that wording. The name is just completely inappropriate for any school project," she said.
Tickets were pulled from sale last night and new ones were being printed with the name "White Out". But many students have already got their costumes organised after depleting all the stocks of white coveralls from Wanaka's Mitre 10 hardware store.
Manager Mark Watson said he had no idea the $7.98 clothing item had been so popular when contacted last night, but after a quick check of his database confirmed he had only large sizes of the boilersuit-type clothing left.
An organising committee student told The Southland Times they had absolutely no intention to offend anyone. "When we were deciding on the name it didn't even cross our minds. The way it is written, 'White Supreeemacy', was supposed to be like white supreme white the dominant colour of the night. But once it was pointed out to us we thought we'd better change it," she said.
Another girl spoken to said a separate group organised the after-party and admitted they did things in secrecy. "It's not even related to the school, really. I only realised what the name was when I bought the ticket. I was shocked."
The angry mother believed the students must have known it was going to cause a reaction because they waited until the last minute to put the tickets on sale.
"Last year they went on sale two weeks earlier and this year it was only a few days before. They were hiding them until the last minute.
"Those kids are not as dumb as the principal is making out."
But principal Bosley said last night the students involved were "absolutely gobsmacked" and had now realised they made a big mistake. "They had no idea. It was never their intention and there was no maliciousness involved."
He admitted they got things wrong but stood by their word that it was an honest mistake. "You have got to believe me. But if anybody has taken offence we apologise to them," he said.
- The Southland Times