Cook deserves honours

LETTER

I was born and raised in Gisborne and I am disappointed that the Cook statue is to be removed from Kaiti Hill after a rather biased debate.

Cook was criticised for killing several Maori, for example, but without mentioning that it was after he and his crew had been threatened, robbed and attacked.

Captain James Cook was a skilled, accomplished, resolute leader — a great rangatira — who took the Endeavour and her crew to uncharted waters; he deserves to be honoured.

It was also claimed that the colonialism that came after Cook was bad for Maori, yet Maori life expectancy has more than doubled and the Maori population has increased 10-fold since the time of the Treaty. Maori are flourishing because of the good that Europeans brought to New Zealand.

Maori have been conditioned to complain because it results in more Treaty payments; but the council has no excuse for removing the statue. You should be sure to get rid of them at the next election.

Dr Barrie Davis, Wellington

I was born and raised in Gisborne and I am disappointed that the Cook statue is to be removed from Kaiti Hill after a rather biased debate.

Cook was criticised for killing several Maori, for example, but without mentioning that it was after he and his crew had been threatened, robbed and attacked.

Captain James Cook was a skilled, accomplished, resolute leader — a great rangatira — who took the Endeavour and her crew to uncharted waters; he deserves to be honoured.

It was also claimed that the colonialism that came after Cook was bad for Maori, yet Maori life expectancy has more than doubled and the Maori population has increased 10-fold since the time of the Treaty. Maori are flourishing because of the good that Europeans brought to New Zealand.

Maori have been conditioned to complain because it results in more Treaty payments; but the council has no excuse for removing the statue. You should be sure to get rid of them at the next election.

Dr Barrie Davis, Wellington

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Dylan JDK, Hawke's Bay - 2 months ago
Dear Dr Barrie Davis
Your article is racist

Donald XYZ - 2 months ago
Funny you should say that Dylan, I think it is fair and accurate.
By the way, stop using the race card.

Ray Hill - 2 months ago
Why is it that Dr Barrie Davis is being racist? You jump on the racist band wagon with no explanation? There is an element in Gisborne that don't want harmony and everyone who says anything that is not to their liking is a racist. Unbelievable and crazy our children thinking like this . . . so perhaps it's time for us all to grow up.

Eli Brown, Rotorua - 2 months ago
"You should be sure to get rid of them at the next election"

Exactly whom is "them" referring to?

No Konei - 2 months ago
Oh well, too bad, so sad!!! Never mind he's going soon and that's all there is too it! The truth of the matter is we were the first here, we get first billing, not you! Frankly white people are upset because they can't hold exclusive rights over the narrative perpetuated for centuries. Your people have to share the power now and it kills some of you inside to do so. Like I said, too bad so sad, you'll just have to deal with it from now on!

Josephine Waru, Parihaka, Whangarei - 2 months ago
I only know Gisborne is somewhere south of Auckland and that's all I need to know. I didn't know there was a statue of Cook on a hill and I don't know what the biased debate was about, but I do know what I have read about Cook and what was taught to me at school about Cook pretty much sums up what you said. He did kill, rob and attack several Maori perhaps not by his hand but certainly by his order. To say he is a great rangitira is incorrect. He was a great captain of a ship! I couldn't say if the Maori population has increased 10-fold as the media statistics say otherwise and in my view statistics aren't recorded accurately. To say Maori were conditioned to complain may hold some truth because wrong has been done to them. Perhaps offer the council an olive branch?

lloyd gretton - 2 months ago
The Bosnian war began at a flash point over an historic region. As I recall it, the region was the brith place of the Serbian nation and was now a Moslem dominated region. In India, the main religious and national flash point is over a Mosque that is also the reputed birth place of the Brahmin Rama. Prior to these conflicts, the people Moslem and non-Moslem had lived hardly aware of their national origins. I had written earlier that I thought this anniversary commemoration was a mistake. 1769 and 2019 don't really fit.

Missing The Point - 2 months ago
Dear Dr Davis
You miss the point entirely. If you had bothered to read the paper that our councillors deliberated on, you'd realise that the decision was made in an effort to authentically tell the story of us as a people. A few other points:
1. This wasn't a race issue. But by harping on about Maori and the Treaty you managed to make it one. Well done.
2. We have the opportunity to be inclusive in the true sense of the birth of a nation. That means both sides of a story equally represented. Where is the issue with sharing, as we share history? I think the only biased debate is yours.
3. While opinions may differ on what status should be bestowed upon him, surely there is no argument that this ridiculous statue does the captain no good. Can you really say that a statue of a man in the wrong uniform, standing on a hill he never stood on, that came from a brewery, really lifts the man to the "rangatira" status you purport him to have?
4. The statue is now part of our urban folklore because of the fact that he couldn't be further from an authentic replica. Although it's embarrassing that we've had him up there for the world to see for this long, moving him to be curated gives us the opportunity to tell his story too.
I hope you enjoy Wellington. How about you allow those of us who still live here to shape our town to represent us. Together.

Lara Meyer - 2 months ago
Dr Barrie,
Captain Cook's crew were not threatened. Te Maro approached some of the crew with a "ritual challenge". Te Maro was holding wood, the sailors had muskets. They shot him dead. Presumably the Europeans ought to have had some understanding of the likelihood of a ritual around the first meeting, they had just come from the Pacific Islands after all. Europeans quickly resorted to extreme aggression.

2. The crew were not robbed. Upon meeting each other at Toka a Taiau, the Maori were given nails and beads. They wanted a sword (well who wouldn't?). One warrior managed to get hold of one. He was shot twice. Shot dead. Over a short sword. If you read the account, the warrior was not shot because the sailors were in any immediate danger, he was shot because he presumed to challenge the authority of the Europeans.

3. Speaking of attacks. When the Endeavour sailed to Muriwai, a waka came out on the sea as well. The sailors chased it down, killed some of the paddlers in an unprovoked attack and kidnapped three young boys, the youngest was about 10. Two warriors were hurt and subsequently drowned, one tried to evade the sailors for ten minutes by diving and hiding in the waves and two more were sent to the shore, to their whanau, dead in the waka. Who attacked who?

Peter Langer, Katikati - 2 months ago
It isn't even on top of the hill, it's 2/3 of the way up - so there's heaps of room for both statues. How silly this is

G R Webb - 2 months ago
To "Missing the Point", how can you share when you are pulling down or taking away that which is the memorial to one of the parties? There will be no equal representation.

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