Hamilton statue toppled on iwi request

By D'Angelo Martin, Jessica Tyson

The 19th-century statue of Captain John Hamilton was removed from its plinth today by Hamilton City Council contractors.

Te Ao understands the decision to topple the monument was made following a request to the council by Waikato-Tainui.

It comes after Kaumātua Taitimu Maipi said he intended to remove the statue during a protest this Saturday.

Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton​ was a naval commander who led a detachment of the 43rd British regiment at the Battle of Gate Pā in Tauranga during the New Zealand Wars.

The statue had been donated to the city in 2013 by the Gallagher Group.

The removal comes as part of the fallout from Black Lives Matters protests around the world, which have led in turn to trenchant criticism of memorials and statues from racist or colonialist eras.

Earlier this week UK activists toppled a statue of a 17th-century slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston in Bristol and threw it into the Thames River.

Just yesterday a monument in Lancaster to a prominent family who made large sums of money through the slave trade was vandalised. 

And in Minnesota in the US Native American protestors toppled a statue of Christopher Columbo.

More to come.