Two artists have been left bemused and upset after their public work was thrown out, after a rough sleeper used it for shelter.
Chris Berthelsen and Xin Cheng's Artweek project on Auckland's Vulcan Lane used salvaged materials to make shelters for the public to sit in and interact with.
Bur Artweek director Deborah White said in the early hours of Monday morning, police officers saw the installation with a homeless person sleeping there and had it disposed of.
The artists were surprised to find it gone the next morning, she said.
"They were upset and I think they were a little bemused, because they've done installations like this internationally.
"But they also accept that there was no malice involved, it was just a complete misunderstanding of what the project was, so they're quite philosophical about it now."
The pair had found new materials with the help of other artists, and a new artwork has been created, Ms White said.
A police spokesperson said a police officer called the council on Sunday and asked them to remove the sculpture, not realising it was an approved piece of art work.
Police did not dismantle the sculpture themselves, the spokesperson said.
In a statement, Auckland Council apologised to the artists for mistakenly disposing of the art work.
"This was done by rubbish contractors in response to a complaint from the police."
The artists did have an event permit, the council confirmed.