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

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:


Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news