Local iwi welcome removal of Captain Cook statue in Gisborne

Morning Talk 02/10/2018
Photo: Supplied.

Gisborne District Council has decided to remove a statue of Captain Cook from Titirangi, a move that has been applauded by local iwi.

The commemorative statue and wall have long been criticised by local iwi, dating back to its inception on the hill in 1969. The statue will be removed and relocated to the local Tairāwhiti Museum.

The statue has seen vandalism in recent years due to opposition, prompting further debate over the appropriateness of its location.

Councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown told RadioLIVE that it’s been a long discussion for the region.

“That maunga should have a representative of the local iwi. James Cook never climbed Titirangi,” she said.

Ms Akuhata-Brown said local iwi were not consulted when it was first erected.

The timing of the statue’s removal is certainly not coincidental. With the 250th Cook anniversary commemorations coming up in 2019, the statue is expected to help provide a more honest narrative of the region’s history. 

Listen to the full interview with Meredith Akuhata-Brown above. 

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