By Kirsty Wynn
Stephanie Key posted the pictures online as she prepared to submit her portfolio at the Paris College of Art—an American private university with four campuses in Paris.
One of the pop-art style self-portraits, showing Key wearing an elaborate pink, feathered, war headdress, lacy pink knickers and a pink modesty star over her nipple, has been criticised for being culturally inappropriate.
Desi Rodriguez Lonebear, a Native American Indian from the Northern Cheyenne tribe of Montana now based in New Zealand, said Key owes an apology to Native Americans and the tangata whenua of her own country.
"I think it's incredibly offensive and distasteful."
Hamilton-based Lonebear said it was even more shocking that the work was by the prime minister's daughter, and called for the photo to be removed from the collection.
"I see a nearly nude woman posing in a war bonnet headdress and holding a peace pipe — the most sacred of objects. It's totally mocking.
"It's very offensive that it's Prime Minister John Key's daughter. [It's] is a huge slap in the face for race relations and ultimately the cultural competency that I have been privileged to witness in New Zealand."
PM backs daughter after art cops flak
By Kirsty Wynn
He said he and his wife Bronagh were "proud of her."
"You've got to remember these pictures were taken off Facebook and [that's] probably something that wouldn't happen to any other art student studying in Paris.
"She's going to make her way in the world ... I hope she does well and I'm incredibly proud of her.
"She's going to have her own view of what art is.
"I hope she's happy and she's healthy and she pursues her dream."
Key responded to questions by the media at the National Party conference in Queenstown today about the latest pictures of his daughter Stephanie, 21, emerging online.
That's his defense of her? Okay, if you say so. To me, it sounds more like someone trying to subtly distance himself from her antics.
For more on hipsters in headdresses, see Coyne Apologizes for Dog Headdress and Little Mix Salutes Stereotypical "Warriors."