A New Zealand father and police constable has been criticised after cheering on his eight-year-old daughter as she bit into the "warm, quivering" heart of a deer she had just killed early this month (August 2016).

Hunter Johnny Yuile posted pictures of his daughter Chloe on Facebook this month after a hunting trip at Makapua Station in Hawke's Bay, One News has reported. One showed her with a stag she had just killed, and another biting into its freshly plucked heart.

"I'm a proud Dad... check out my little pink ninja princess," he wrote.

"She made [a] tricky downhill shot using my shoulder as a leaning rest ... then she took a bite from its warm quivering heart. Go Chloe!"

The postings were shared 25,000 times before being removed.

Police constable Yuile faced criticism online for taking his daughter hunting at such a young age, and for encouraging her to take part in the ritual.

"Bit sadistic to be honest," one Facebook user wrote, reported the New Zealand Herald. "I thought this post was choice until the 'warm quivering heart' bit." Others were more supportive: "Her family has every reason to be proud of her ... If you have nothing good to say then don't say anything! Good on you Chloe!" wrote one.

Chloe told NZ Stuff that the deer's heart tasted "quite nice", and she had been keen to take part in the ritual after watching her uncle do it. "I thought it was really cool because I like hunting with my dad and we can get some meat for my family," the young girl said.

Yiule said that he had taught his daughter firearms safety, and that they did not hunt for sport, but for meat. "Yeah, she loves it," he said. "I'm not fussed about other people's opinions."