The obelisk was completed on the summit of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill by 1940, the centennial year of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Although it was constructed nearly 30 years after Sir John Logan Campbell’s death, it fulfilled the terms expressed in his will which he had reserved money to complete. The obelisk is situated near Sir John's grave, but it was not intended to honour him, rather it was built as a permanent record of his admiration for the achievements and character of the great Māori race. Campbell decided on the idea of an obelisk after admiring them during his travels in Egypt. The base is formed from rusticated basalt blocks and rubbed stone wedges, while the cast bronze figure of a Māori rangatira was sculpted by Richard Oliver Gross. The official unveiling of the obelisk was delayed until 24 April 1948, once World War II was over, in keeping with the Māori custom of not holding such ceremonies during a time of bloodshed. A number of dignitaries were present for the occasion, including the Māori King, Koroki, and the Mayor of Auckland.