'I don't think we ought to celebrate his life' - Auckland memorial of commander who led attacks killing 12 Maori under scrutiny

A memorial to a colonial commander who led attacks on Waikato Maori is under scrutiny in Auckland.

Opponents say he led attacks on Waikato Maori and has blood on his hands. Source: 1 NEWS

The remains of Lieutenant Colonel Marmaduke Nixon were buried under the monument 150 years ago but some say the memorial on an Otahuhu traffic island should be removed because he has blood on his hands. 

In 1864, Mr Nixon was fatally wounded in an attack  on the village of Rangiaowhia.

His troops retaliated and killed 12 Maori as they took cover in a whare. 

Shane Te Pou has started an online petition and wants a meeting with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff about the future of the monument. 

"I don't think we ought to celebrate his life," Mr Te Pou told 1 NEWS.

"I think we should move it to a museum or to a learning environment and we should simply have a korero about him and this historical context."

It has been suggested that Waikato Maori could erect a carved pou or memorial at the site including their account of the atrocity at Rangiawhia.

However, Auckland iwi would have to agree. 

Ngato Apakura historian Tom Roa says the monument could be a learning opportunity.

"O'm not an advocate for getting rid of any monument," Mr Roa said. 

"What I am an advocate for is that we have a discussion."