Deconstruction has begun on the Queen's Park lion memorial on Veterans' steps, signalling the start of a five-month refurbishment process.

All work on the monument will be done on site and a blessing was held for it on Monday morning before work was to commence.

The monument was originally unveiled in 1893 and acts as a grave marker for troops who were killed in action at Nukumaru in 1865.

Due to the time needed to complete the refurbishment, work will continue through Anzac Day and a paper image of the memorial will be put in its place.