Call to move colonial statue in Auckland

  • 06/09/2017

There are calls for an Auckland statue commemorating a colonial colonel and his cavalry to be moved because it represents a Eurocentric account of history.

Auckland man Shane Te Pou on Wednesday launched a petition urging the mayor to relocate the Nixon Memorial in Otahuhu to a museum.

Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon was an early settler in south Auckland and the Franklin Member of the House of Representatives who commanded the Colonial Defence Force Cavalry during the Invasion of the Waikato in the 1860s.

He died on May 27, 1864 during a battle with Māori, and Mr Te Pou says while the memorial stands in tribute to the cavalrymen who perished at Rangiaowhia, the spilling of Māori blood goes unmentioned.

"Nixon pursued Māori as prey, including the women and children who died during his notorious and deadly attack on Rangiaowhia," he said.

Mr Te Pou is asking for the statue to be moved to Auckland War Memorial Museum, and says it "represents a Eurocentric historical worldview that inhibits a full reckoning with New Zealand's past".

"Why do we celebrate the life of men like Colonel Nixon who sought out war, and not those who seek peace?"

In a statement, Mayor Phil Goff said if there was sentiment in community that the "other side of the story" needed to be told, he was "not opposed to it".

NZN