This was published as a letter in the New Zealand Herald Tuesday, 26 February, 2013
Fittingly, art commentators, writers, artists, friends and media have
paid tribute to Ralph Hotere. Ralph sits alongside poets Hone Tuwhare
and James K Baxter, writer Maurice Shadbolt and fellow painter Colin
McCahon who challenged us as people, stood with us and articulated our
thoughts in our darkest peace time hours.
Growing up in the 1960s and
70s there were small number of people who inspired many of us. They spoke of home not nineteen thousand kilometers away, but of this land
New Zealand as home. They all loved their country, the challenges in
reaching our potential, the achievable dreams and the pain in dealing
with our issues. All of them could have left New Zealand such was their
talent, and become successful internationally.
Hotere is perhaps the last of this courageous
outspoken generation. His death provides an opportunity for a
discussion the contribution they made shaping our nation