Capt Cook statue going from mountain to museum

A controversial Captain Cook statue in Gisborne is today moving from mountain to museum.

It spent fifty years atop Mt Titirangi, but last year's decision to move it came after ongoing protests and vandalism.

Mayor Meng Foon says the choice to relocate Cook to Tairawhiti Museum was not a difficult one.

"We went through a process - we asked our community what they thought and were given some options, and that's the option that we took."

A new interpretation at Tairawhiti Museum will help visitors understand the history of the statue.

Foon says there are plenty of Cook memorials and monuments throughout the city.

"It was a great opportunity to celebrate the iwi's stories as well. We're moving Cook down from the Titirangi Maunga to the Tairawhiti Museumwhere they'll be able to tell a better story."

Local iwi spokesperson Nick Tupara told Newshub last year the statue has always felt uncomfortable to them.

"It's a strange thing to have on the mountain; Cook didn't have an association with the mountain, and he landed at the base of it."

"James Cook never actually climbed this maunga - this position and this space right here right now should be for the whole region to celebrate, and maybe a dual opportunity exists for iwi and Pākehā," said Councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown.