Hamilton's deputy mayor is calling for the Huntly kaumātua who threatened to vandalise the Captain Hamilton statue to be prosecuted.

Geoff Taylor's calls comes as the council prepares to publicly discuss the future of Captain Hamilton's statue at Wednesday's Community Committee for the first time after an executive decision was made earlier this month to pull it out after Taitimu Maipi threatened to pull it out himself during a Black Lives Matter protest march.

Taylor said while he supported the bronze sculpture being temporarily removed purely to avoid it hurting someone, destroying the statue or the carpark structure below - he did not support the way Maipi or Tainui went about it.

"I think Taitimu Maipi who made the threats against the statue should be prosecuted, given that this was his second offence, having damaged the statue in 2018."


Maipi had previously attacked the Captain Hamilton statue in Civic Square by damaging his now with a sledgehammer and brushing red paint on it in protest at the city of Hamilton being named after the British captain who killed Māori in the Waikato land wars.

Taylor said was also disappointed that Tainui released a statement which supported Maipi's "tireless advocacy in disrupting the status quo and advancing his position on a range of matters similar to this" because it in effect promoted vandalism.

"And I think Tainui has been a little calculated in choosing this time of hysteria following an outrageous crime in the US to push the case for renaming the city and some street names. I don't think that was a great act of partnership at all. For me it hasn't helped the cause," Taylor posted on Facebook.

Hamilton deputy mayor Geoff Taylor says he will listen to the entire city not just one group. Photo / File
Hamilton deputy mayor Geoff Taylor says he will listen to the entire city not just one group. Photo / File

Waikato-Tainui has been working with council to identify street names and other landmarks that are particularly offensive to people for the past year.

A Waikato-Tainui spokesperson said Taylor's interpretation in regards to them supporting Maipi's vandalism did not align with their statement.

"We are aware of the Facebook page and it was always going to cause a discussion among the local community and they are more than happy to have a view on it."

Maipi told Stuff he did not regret threatening to vandalise a statue representing a "murderer", saying he would have used a hammer or tow truck.

"I'm protesting. I don't think a person like that should have been honoured for the murder of our ancestors."


A police media spokesperson said police were not making any inquiries in relation to threats against the statue.

Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate earlier told the Herald that the quick executive decision to remove the statue was a temporary measure made because of the threats that it would be attacked.

She said there would be urgent discussions with councillors and the wider public about what they would like to see happen to it long-term. This could include requests around changing the name of the city and some streets.

Council minutes from 2012 show Tainui and other iwi were consulted on the statue before it was erected.

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