The New Zealand Navy is being criticised for letting the public design its latest ship's badge with an academic saying it devalues the design industry.
The Navy wants people to submit badge designs for its newest and largest ship, HMNZS Aotearoa.
Professor of Communication Design at Massey University, Claire Robinson, said she was gobsmacked the Navy could spend almost $500 million on the ship but then crowdsource the badge.
She said people spent years perfecting design skills and the move disrespected and devalued the industry.
"It's a skill that people go to university to learn and spend many, many, many years in industry perfecting and just for the Navy to think, or anybody to think, that that's something that you can just crowdsource because it's a cute or clever idea is so disrespectful and devalues the design industry."
Ms Robinson said the public appeal wouldn't bring out great design and the Navy should have hired a designer just as it commissioned everything else for the ship.
Defence Minister Mark Mitchell said the HMNZS Aotearoa was scheduled to be added to the Navy fleet in January 2020 and it would replace the HMNZS Endeavour.
He said a Navy ship's badge needed to be simple yet striking, reflecting the name of a ship and the role it performed.
The competition closes on 1 December and the winner will be announced on Waitangi Day next year.