Duncan Garner: Let's learn from racist statues instead of tearing them down

OPINION: I don't think that we should rush to pull down these so-called racist monuments and statues because they represent someone or something that now offends us or embarrasses us. 

Unless, of course, we surprise ourselves and find a statue of Hitler but frankly I can't see him lasting that long in bronze. 

Actually though I am talking about New Zealand's post colonial history and the many, many statues that on closer inspection may represent a racist act, a racist leader, a bigot, a man responsible for land confescation and bloody warfare, rape and pillage. 

Why should they have a place front and centre across New Zealand when some of our finest Maori warriors have never been set in bronze on their whenua or on their land or land close to ancestors. 

But I say, let's not hide, bury or destroy our history, that does nothing for the future. Let's learn about these tyrants and put a new plague on these statues that tell us the truth for the first time. 

We are a young country and I think there has been a woeful attempt to protect and promote New Zealand's history. 

From school, I mostly remember discussing a place called Prussia at length before being caned by Mr Neil for causing widespread distraction in the class, we got on quite well despite that. 

It's bloody embarrassing how we have failed generations of Kiwis with this eurocentric history and ignoring what went on in our own backyard. 

So well done to Mihingarangi Forbes and your New Zealand Wars campaign. You wanted your country to recognise and educate us on these bloody and brutal wars which were defining for this country. Now all this will be taught in our schools and not a day before time, so well done. 

Let's keep our history but let's know about it. Let's find out about it. Let's not torch the past although if we do, then can we please make sure that when the statues do come down it's a rabble of Kiwis dragging it through town. Do not let it be some nice sort of council bringing it down carefully, that sounds boring, let's make a scene. 

And finally, what we really need is a lifesize replica of Jonah Lomu at Auckland airport just to scare visiting rugby teams when everything is back on again. It would be a huge big monument and it would be great. 

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.