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Iconic Māori Artist Tribute from Te Puni Kōkiri

Iconic Māori Artist Tribute from Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive

Michelle Hippolite, Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri, pays tribute to Ralph Hotere ONZ - one of this country’s most revered artists.

A Ralph Hotere and Mary McFarlane sculpture – Rūaumoko – stands outside Te Puni Kōkiri on the corner of Lambton Quay and Stout Street in Wellington.

“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 Zealand.”

“Our country has lost an artistic pioneer whose career as a sculptor, painter and collaborative artist spanned more than five decades, changing New Zealand art forever,” Michelle Hippolite says.

“On behalf of Te Puni Kōkiri, I extend my deepest condolences to Ralph’s whānau,” Michelle Hippolite says.

Commissioned in 1998, “Rūaumoko” comprises two concrete columns: one horizontal and broken into two pieces, the other vertical and crowned with a mass of bronze lettering – drawing attention to language and its parts i.e., the letters of the alphabet.

The piece was constructed from materials salvaged from the demolition of the old State Insurance Building and associates elements of an architectural past with the Māori God of Earthquakes “Rūaumoko”.


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