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22 Sep 2017 9:28
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  •   Home > News > Living & Travel

    Colonial Auckland statue in for an update

    Auckland's mayor has agreed to review an Otahuhu statue commemorating a colonial colonel who led attacks on Maori to update its account of history.

    A south Auckland statue commemorating a colonial colonel who led attacks on Maori may soon get a historical update, the city's mayor says.

    Auckland resident Shane Te Pou last week launched a petition urging Auckland Council to relocate the Nixon Memorial in Otahuhu to a museum, saying it celebrated a man who "pursued Maori as prey, including the women and children".

    Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon died in 1864 following a battle with Maori in Rangiaowhia during the Invasion of the Waikato and the statute, erected four years later, commemorates him and his cavalry, but makes no mention of the Maori loss of life.

    Mayor Phil Goff's office has now responded by setting up a council team to hear comment from interested parties about what should be done to update the memorial.

    Moving the statue has been ruled out, but the committee will consider more appropriate ways to tell the story of the battle to reflect a broader set of views, a spokesman for the mayor says.

    The group was expected to meet for the first time this week, he said.

    Mr Te Pou told NZ Newswire he thought the mayor's decision was a "very rational and well-balance outcome".

    "My wish was to discuss the issue and to allow the hapu to tell their side of the story. So I'm rapt," he said.

    Mr Te Pou had asked for the statue to be moved to Auckland War Memorial Museum, and said it "represents a euro-centric historical world view that inhibits a full reckoning with New Zealand's past".

    "Alongside Nixon, the memorial stands in tribute to the cavalrymen who perished at Rangiaowhia -- and yet the spilling of Maori blood goes unmentioned," he said last week.

    "In 2017, it is a travesty that such a one-sided account of a tragic historical episode is given literal stature."


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