The statue of the British Navy captain was removed by the city council in Hamilton, New Zealand after a local Maori elder threatened to force it.

The statue of Captain John Hamilton, named after the city on the Central North Island, was gifted to the city in 2013 by a local organization.

Council chief executive Richard Briggs said in a statement that it was taken after a request from local Ivy (tribe) Waikato-Tenui to remove it from Civic Square. Briggs said it was clear that the statue itself was likely to be barbaric.

"We know that this statue is controversial for many members of our community. It is appropriate for the council to take a look at the long-term plan for this artifact and decide where and how it fits into the future of the city."

He said there were public safety concerns as the statue was placed in an underground carpark in Civic Square.

"If the statue is forcibly removed from its current location, as indicated, it could seriously damage the integrity of the building below."Local Kaumatua (elder) Taitimu told the MyPie News website stuff that the statue was supposed to be removed during Saturday's protest.

He said Hamilton was a "murderous arshole," as he was a hero and displayed in the city. Hamilton was captain of the Gate PA War during the 19th century New Zealand wars, the bloody battles between the Maori and British governments over controversial land purchases and colonial occupation. However, Hamilton never set foot in the city.

The plan to remove the statue will develop into a detailed conversation about the future of New Zealand colonial statues.

Many other statues and monuments, including the James Cook statue in Gitbourne, are in the news all over the country, built on the sacred mountain of Titirangi. Cook led the first Europeans to set foot on New Zealand. The statue is in the area where nine Ivy members were killed after a misunderstanding by the Cook staff.

There are other signs of colonialism in some regional towns, such as Vekato and Ngaruviya. Within months of the end of the Waikato wars in 1864, the British army was successful and the town planners designed the layout according to Union Jack's design.

Maori Party co-leader Debbie Nagreva-Packer on Thursday called for an investigation into the identification and removal of colonial monuments, statues and place names that symbolize racism and oppression.

"It may not look racist to some people, but it does to those who are influenced by it and to those who have been most influenced by history. It just does, and it is wrong and we want to be part of that solution.

"We are not the first to remove them. What we are saying is that there are some people who are no longer fit to be what we are as a country."

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the time is right to remove the statue in New Zealand, which means worldwide pressure to remove the symbols of racism and oppression worldwide.

"We should not ignore what is happening around the world. I do not think the statue will help us to bridge those gaps, as we seek to increase tolerance and understanding between cultures and communities.

"I appreciate that the statue was presented to the city before my time on the council. We should think about its role and possible events in the city."

Last September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the national school curriculum would be changed to accommodate lessons on the New Zealand wars

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