The organisers of Nelson's Santa parade have apologised for tweaking the formula.
The final float caused a commotion when the man in it was sporting a korowai and Hawaiian shirt, rather than the traditional red suit and beard.
Event Director Mark Soper previously backed the idea, saying the idea of Saint Nick as an old man with a white beard isn't set in stone.
But he now says he's learned a lot - and next year will see the return of a traditional Santa Claus.
Nelson City Council members and staff have reportedly been sent a torrent of abusive messages after the event, which the Council says is definitely not in the spirit of Christmas.