Artist Ralph Hotere will be farewelled with a requiem
mass at St Joseph's Catholic Cathedral in Dunedin on Thursday
ahead of his tangi.
Hotere, 81, who was one of only a handful of people to be
made a Member of the Order of New Zealand, died peacefully in
His personal representative and chairwoman of the Hotere
Foundation, lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, said a requiem mass
for Hotere would be held at St Joseph's at 11am on Thursday.
"This mass will be open to members of the public who may wish
to pay their respects to Ralph," she said.
On Friday, his body will be taken to Matihetihe Marae at
Mitimiti in Northland for his tangi.
Hotere, of Te Aupouri iwi descent, had moved to Port Chalmers
in Otago and died in Dunedin surrounded by family.
He had been suffering from pneumonia.
Top Maori leaders have paid tribute to Hotere today.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, a long-time friend who
used to hang out with Hotere when they were in Auckland
together in the 1960s, said Hotere was a much-loved man who
was respected within Maori communities.
"He was as humble as they came. Despite his obvious talents,
he would never accept praise, he tangata whakaiti, he tangata
"More than an artist, Ralph's artworks encapsulated much of
the struggle that tangata whenua were facing during his time.
He was an activist; he was a thought provoking philosopher;
and he was an advocate for Maori rights."
Dr Sharples said Hotere may have been a quiet man, but he
found a way to communicate his thoughts about the world
through his art.
"We are proud of his achievements both here in Aotearoa and
internationally - he pushed boundaries, he led the way for
New Zealand art, and as a result he has earned his place in
"He took our culture to the world, and he took our
aspirations as tangata whenua and enticed people to engage in
our history and our stories.
"He had refined artistic skill, but he was also a story
teller at heart, and it was our Maori stories that he told so
"He will be sorely missed, and we send our aroha and
condolences to his whanau. Moe mai, moe mai e te rangatira."
Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Michelle Hippolite said New
Zealand had lost an artistic pioneer whose career as a
sculptor, painter and collaborative artist had changed New
Zealand art forever.
"The legacy of this son of the Hokianga remains through his
art which challenged and championed important social issues.
"While he preferred to let the viewer interpret the works for
themselves, the works are a part of the story of Aotearoa New
A sculpture Hotere made with his wife Mary McFarlane,
Ruaumoko - named after the Maori god of earthquakes - stands
outside the ministry's office on Wellington's Lambton Quay.
Commissioned in 1998 and made from materials salvaged from
the demolition of the old State Insurance Building, it is
made up of a concrete column which is broken in two, and a
second column which is crowned with bronze lettering.
Hotere was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in 2011
- the only person to be awarded the country's highest honour
He suffered a debilitating stroke in 2001, after which his
artistic output was limited.