Thousands of people filled St Joseph's Cathedral in Dunedin
today to farewell celebrated artist Ralph Hotere ONZ.
People of all ages and social strata attended the 11am
Requiem Mass, providing a canvas of the artist's far-ranging
influence and popularity.
A Maori cloak was draped across the coffin, while his ONZ
medal and a smiling photo of his investiture sat on top.
Speakers included Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Chris Finlayson, Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples and
poet Professor Bill Manhire, while the artist's widow, Mary
McFarlane, and daughter, Andrea Hotere-Naish, were among
family in attendance.
Dr Sharples recalled his old friend's mischievous humour,
raising loud laughter.
''He used to try to finish Hone Tuwhare's poem off.''
Other speakers recalled his humble, gentle and respectful
nature and contribution to New Zealand art.
Hotere was widely-considered New Zealand's greatest living
artist until his death in Dunedin at midday last Sunday, aged
Earlier, in the day, residents and local school children
lined the streets of Careys Bay and Port Chalmers to pay
their respects as his coffin passed through his township for
the last time, in a black, antique 1927 Chrysler hearse.
It was just four years old when the artist was born.
Hotere was awarded the Order of New Zealand in the 2012 New
Year's Honours in recognition of his contribution to
Today, he returns to the Matihetihe marae, in his Mitimiti
birthplace, for the tangi.