Thursday October 19, 2017   Last updated 03:54AM

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Hapu treats Nixon monument as waahi tapu

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A Waikato hapu leader says Auckland tribes need to be involved in any additions or alterations to the memorial of the Land Wars soldier Marmaduke Nixon.

Tom Roa met yesterday with Mayor Phil Goff and some of Colonel Nixon's descendants to discuss the fate of the statue at Great South Rd in Otahuhu.

He says despite Colonel Nixon's role in the attack on Rangiowhia where his troops burned a whare where women and children were sheltering, he wishes no disrepect to the descendants or to the monument.

"The colonel's bones are underneath that monument so it's a waahi tapu and we have no intention at all to disrespect the waahi tapu. We gave the very clear undertaking that we would not be part of any move, as has happened overseas, to demolish the statue because it has been there for almost 150 years. It is a part of our history," Dr Roa says.

While the offer is there to put the hapu's view of the Rangiowhia story beside the monument, the broader context of the effect of the war on Auckland mana whenua also needs to be told.

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