Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Finlayson: Address at Requiem Mass for Ralph Hotere

Christopher Finlayson

28 February, 2013

Address at Requiem Mass for Ralph Hotere, St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral

E te rangatira
Kei te tangi Te Aupouri
Kei te tangi Te Motu

(We acknowledge a great leader,
The people of Te Aupouri grieve,
The nation grieves with them.)

It is a great honour to represent the government today as we remember a great New Zealander – and one of Dunedin’s favourite adopted sons.

It is a testament to the people, the artistic and literary community and the natural beauty of Otago that Ralph, and another great artist of the far north, Hone Tuwhare, chose to make this region their home.

I was interested to learn Ralph Hotere was christened Hone Papita Raukura. He was well-named.

Raukura refers to the most highly prized feathers and means “most precious” – and we can certainly say that of Ralph’s legacy to New Zealand.

He was named “Hone Papita” in honour of Jean Baptiste Pompallier, New Zealand’s first Catholic bishop.

Like his namesake, Ralph was a pioneer. A pioneer of contemporary art and a pioneer of new techniques and materials.

And like his namesake, he was a man with a mission. Ralph certainly confirmed the pen and brush can be mightier than the sword.

He used his creative gifts to confront issues such as social and political justice for Māori, threats to the environment, nuclear war, apartheid, racism – all of which he examined in his work.

He felt compelled to speak through his work about the events and debates which continue to shape our nation and our place in the world.

In doing so, he made us think about what is truly important to us as people – and what we need to do to put things right.

If we look back at his life, his was an archetypal New Zealand story – shared by many of his generation of impressive Māori artists, academics, teachers and politicians – people who have made such a tremendous contribution to New Zealand.

He was born in a raupo whare in remote Mitimiti – and rose to appointment to the highest honour this country can bestow – a member of the Order of New Zealand.

He was one of fifteen children – and schooled in the Catholic faith. I like to think his spiritual training – along with his strong roots in his own culture – were the basis of his quest for social and political justice.

Ralph’s bonds with his Te Aupouri whanau remained a constant in his life – as did his
sense of connection with the natural world, forged in the wild coastal landscapes of the Hokianga.

Education and training opened the door to a pakeha world – and travel to Europe consolidated his appreciation of the western art tradition and the exciting contemporary art movements of the 1960s.

Travel also exposed him to the prevailing anxiety about the threat of nuclear war – and included a visit to the grave of his brother Jack, who died while serving with the Māori Battalion in Italy.

These experiences left an abiding impression and surfaced repeatedly in his work, along with his later social, political and environmental concerns.

When he returned to New Zealand, Ralph launched himself into a long productive career. His legacy is a remarkable body of work which has changed the way New Zealanders look at the world.

Ralph believed art feeds the soul. His art certainly did so – and we are fortunate generations of New Zealanders to come will be able to see his works in public collections around the country – and to experience the power and profundity of his artistic vision.

Haere ki te korowai aroha o Tumoana kia mihia, kia tangihia e te tini, e te mano.

(Travel to the loving embrace of your house Tumoana to be celebrated and mourned by the multitudes.)

E te rangatira haere.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Labour: Healthy Homes Bill Passes First Reading

Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Home, And A Way

The one thing even more popular than an Auckland house is offering advice on how to afford an Auckland house. So, on the grounds it can’t be worse than some of the stuff that’s out there, here’s my three cents* worth. [*Up 50% since 2013!] More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news