Main street for statue

LETTER

The decision by Gisborne District Council to pull down the Cook statue and move it to the museum is racially wrong and will soon be exposed nationwide as biased, insulting and causing grief.

TV3 news stated the “Crook” Cook is termed this by those who are against the Cook statue being on Kaiti Hill.

According to The Gisborne Herald, the Cook statue has been identified as a definite replica of early engravings of James Cook, but the clothing is not correct.

Sam Neill’s excellent TV4 documentary Uncharted last Sunday night showed a portrait of Captain Cook painted by John Webber, the official painter on Cook’s third voyage. It too is similar to our statue, and Neill said this painting — held safely in a cabinet at Te Papa — belonged to Cook’s wife Elizabeth and came from her home. How indisputable is that in proving that this is what Cook looked like?

The decision by our council is very disrespectful to our nation.

I believe the two models of the Endeavour that were in the main street, as well as this Cook statue, should therefore now be in the middle of town — exposed for all to see in Gladstone Road.

After all, Murray Ball’s Footrot Flats as an icon gets pride of place in town . . . yet such an important part of our nation’s history is banished to the museum where few will see it.

The maximum exposure is in the main street, held high. Situated there the statue would be far more significant and pleasing to all visitors and locals on a daily basis.

So to the GDC, please be more considerate and understanding as many pleople I speak to say this is really insulting to our people and nation. Please reconsider, as we need a democratic decision that will beautify Gisborne and showcase it as the place it really is.

Alain Jorion

The decision by Gisborne District Council to pull down the Cook statue and move it to the museum is racially wrong and will soon be exposed nationwide as biased, insulting and causing grief.

TV3 news stated the “Crook” Cook is termed this by those who are against the Cook statue being on Kaiti Hill.

According to The Gisborne Herald, the Cook statue has been identified as a definite replica of early engravings of James Cook, but the clothing is not correct.

Sam Neill’s excellent TV4 documentary Uncharted last Sunday night showed a portrait of Captain Cook painted by John Webber, the official painter on Cook’s third voyage. It too is similar to our statue, and Neill said this painting — held safely in a cabinet at Te Papa — belonged to Cook’s wife Elizabeth and came from her home. How indisputable is that in proving that this is what Cook looked like?

The decision by our council is very disrespectful to our nation.

I believe the two models of the Endeavour that were in the main street, as well as this Cook statue, should therefore now be in the middle of town — exposed for all to see in Gladstone Road.

After all, Murray Ball’s Footrot Flats as an icon gets pride of place in town . . . yet such an important part of our nation’s history is banished to the museum where few will see it.

The maximum exposure is in the main street, held high. Situated there the statue would be far more significant and pleasing to all visitors and locals on a daily basis.

So to the GDC, please be more considerate and understanding as many pleople I speak to say this is really insulting to our people and nation. Please reconsider, as we need a democratic decision that will beautify Gisborne and showcase it as the place it really is.

Alain Jorion

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Unhappy - 2 months ago
I too disapprove of the removal of the Captain Cook statue. Our Mayor on a radio talkback show based part of his argument that the statue showed no similarity to Cook. That's irrelevant as it's what the statue represents that's important, and we all know what that is.

SMH - 2 months ago
Why shouldn't Cook be moved from Kaiti Hill? He never went up there and still has the landing memorial and his other statue by Waikanae Beach.
Having it in the middle of the city centre just asks for it to be constantly defaced, and then people will cry over their rates paying to have it fixed.
Besides, when the statue was placed up there it was for the bicentennial at the behest of a white, middle-aged male-run council who never took Maori, women or working class peoples' opinions into consideration.

G R Webb - 2 months ago
SMH. your comments are pure conjecture or supposition, or both. In case you hadn't noticed, what is proposed is a recognition of all navigators to these shores. That being so, you don't systematically destroy the traces of one very important explorer. There is room for all.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think that schools 'poaching' rugby players by offering them scholarships is OK?