Nigel Borell

He poroporoaki ki a Cliff Whiting

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He mata mahore no te ara whanui a Tāne Māhuta
Te Po, Te Po, te pao o te ruru, i tangihia, te hingatanga, o te totara.
Kua heke te pouritanga ki te minenga. Tangihia, Tangihia.

E te rangatira Cliff, haere, haere, haere,
Piki atu ki te arai poutama okioki ai ki to hoa me o tupuna, ki nga Rangituhaha.
Pouri ana nga iwi o Aotearoa i tou wehenga, engari te harikoa mo o taonga tukuiho ki nga marae maha i whakanuitia e to matauranga toi.
Moe mai, Moe mai, i to Moenga Roa.

The spirit of an admired person, takes the ‘whirlwind path’ to heaven.

The cry of the owl in the darkest hours heralds the passing of the renown.
It is with heartfelt grief and condolences that we acknowledge the passing of a great friend, colleague, and eminent carver and artist of modern Māori art.

We bid you Farewell Cliff, as you ascend the stairs of heaven, to rest with your beloved wife and ancestors in peace.
We mourn your loss, for your indelible legacy of creative inspiration, and architectural restoration and adornment of many marae and public buildings throughout the country.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki staff and Haerewa are saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Cliff Whiting (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, ONZ.  Toi Iho, Te Ara Whakarei)  this past weekend. Cliff was a pioneer who, along with many of his generation, paved the way for what we know and appreciate today as contemporary Māori art. A gifted artist, educator and instrumental advocate for Māori arts development, his contributions to New Zealand’s art and culture are profound and far-reaching.  It is a legacy that is still felt in classrooms, tertiary art programmes and in the work of artists the length of this country.  A legacy that has shaped an important moment in our bi-cultural history as a nation and advanced Māori aspirations in the visual arts. 

'People like Cliff Whiting live forever because of what they give and leave behind.'

'He was a visionary and believer in what seemed impossible to others.'

'A man who carried out his mahi with dignity, grace and determination.'

These are but some of the memories shared by friends and colleagues recently, and we know more will continue to follow. We say farewell to a great leader and a true visionary of our times.

May You Rest in Peace.