June 15, 2020
Explanatory note should come with monuments
A Tauranga historian says context is everything in assessing memorials to the colonial past.
The Black Lives Matter movement has focused on the way many public monuments glorify slavery and oppression, and has led to pressure in Aotearoa to remove some statues and street names.
Buddy Mikaere applauds the solution found by Gisborne artist Nick Tupara to get a statue of Captain Cook moved to the Tairāwhiti Museum where it can be surrounded with explanatory material.
In Tauranga Moana, mana whenua got around the problem by placing a depiction of General Duncan Cameron at the start of a line of pou in Pukehinahina at the site of the Battle of Gate Pa.
That may stimulate people to find out more about Cameron, who led the invasion of the Waikato and the British forces at Gate Pa.
"Not long after that I think General Cameron came to the realisation this was not really war and he got quite upset that the lives of his soldiers were being sacrificed so settlers could have land. This wasn't a war, it was oppressive. So there's a back story to all these things that we also need to know," Mr Mikaere says.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com