The Maori sovereignty flag was seen flying high over Victoria St this morning in the bronze hand of Gallipoli soldier and artist Horace "Sapper" Moore-Jones.

Councillor Andrew King was on the scene to monitor the flag's removal, and said he suspected it had gone up overnight.

"There are CCTV cameras on the statue constantly," he said.

Mr King said he understood that the country was in the middle of a flag debate, but it was inappropriate to hang it from a World War One memorial.

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The flag was taken down by a member of the Council's traffic light crew. It had been secured with a piece of rubber but did not appear to have damaged the statue in any way.