Statue to Cook at Kaiti Hill, overlooking Gisborne, New Zealand

Situated in the enclosure named “Cook’s Plaza” on Kaiti Hill.
The 1½ tonne statue cast in bronze, is from one which was carved from a block of Carrara marble, imported from Italy by the Captain Cook Brewery in Newmarket, Auckland.
The statue’s face is similar to Cook’s in John Basire’s engraving (from Hodge’s portrait). 

The statue is cast in bronze, from an original one which was carved in Sydney by an Italian sculptor in the 1880s, possibly Achille Simonetti, and stood at the gates of Cook’s Brewery in Auckland for many years.
This bronze copy was one of three cast at DMF Foundry in Auckland.
One account says it was unveiled by the Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt, and another that it was
unveiled in 1969 by the Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the bicentenary of Cook’s visit to Poverty Bay.  The likeness has errors, the uniform is that of an Italian Admiral, not British.  For this reason it is often referred to as “crook Cook”.
It is thought to have been copied from a portrait which was displayed at an exhibition in Sydney in the 1870s or early 1880s.
In 1991 the statue was vandalised, wrenched from its base, and thrown 20 meters down the hill, sustaining a lot of damage.   The left leg was broken off and the head and arms damaged.
The statue has also suffered from damage by paint being daubed upon it.


Who was he?   We have no idea?

Latitude/Longitude:   -38.6623, 178.0177

Cook’s Log, page 764, vol.14, no.1 (1991)
Cook’s Log, page 871, vol.15, no.4 (1992)
Cook’s Log, page 1181, vol.18, no.3 (1995)
Cook’s Log, page 1898, vol.24, no.4 (2001)
Cook’s Log, page 38, vol.35, no.3 (2012)
Cook’s Log, page 28, vol.36, no.1 (2013)
Cook’s Log, page 29, vol.36, no.2 (2013)

Image gallery (click to enlarge)