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Poroporoaki: Rei Hamon

Poroporoaki: Rei Hamon

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party Wednesday 20 August 2008

The Maori Party has acknowledged the great loss to Aotearoa, of the Te Aitanga a Mahaki artist, Francis Rei Paul Hamon, CBE.

"Rei was admired throughout the world as a specialist 'artist of the New Zealand bush' said Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

"His love of the bush landscape was expressed through a unique style of pointillism - drawings composed of millions of tiny dots. His 'dot-art' drawings created a technique that has earnt him a distinguished status in our cultural heritage" said Dr Sharples.

"His respect for our indigenous flora and fauna came through in other ways" said Dr Sharples.

"Rei was a devout conservationalist. Ironically, he had once been manager of the Thames Sawmilling Company and in 1961, he was given the task of supervising the felling of a large kauri above Tapu. The korero goes that when the tree fell, and in doing so disrupted generations of kaka and kereru that had been nesting in that tree for ever, he handed in his resignation on the spot, and vowed never to fell another healthy tree".

"His talents - and that of his son Awanui - were also called upon in a London art auction which raised funds to aid the recovery of the kokako".

"We extend our sympathies to his sweetheart, Maia, his children and his many mokopuna and his greater whanau".


ENDS

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