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Ralph Hotere to be honoured in Dunedin this week

Published: 5:55AM Monday February 25, 2013 Source: ONE News

A mass will be held at St Joseph's Catholic Cathedral in Dunedin on Thursday to honour renowned Maori artist Ralph Hotere.

Tributes have been flowing in for the 81-year-old painter who was widely regarded as one of New Zealand's most important artists.

His service will be followed by a tangi at his Marae at Mitimiti.

He was famous for his work with black paint.

Hotere was made a member of the order of New Zealand in 2011 as a recognition for his contribution to contemporary art.

Prime Minister John Key has paid tribute to Hotere's career, which spans more than five decades.

Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae said it was great sadness that he learned of the passing of Ralph Hotere, one of New Zealand's pre-eminent artists.

"Mr Hotere was a quiet man of great strength and character whose contributions, through his many iconic artworks, provide thought provoking commentary on the many facets of New Zealand," Sir Jerry said.

The Labour party has also paid tribute today, saying his death is not only a huge loss to the people who knew him but to the many who appreciate his fine work of art.

"Ralph Hotere was one of this country's most important contemporary artists. His works were provocative and thoughtful. He boldly tackled controversial political issues and challenged our way of thinking," Labour leader David Shearer said.

Hotere died peacefully in Dunedin Hospital surrounded by his family.