Esteemed Māori artist and ONZ Dr Cliff Whiting passes

By Dion Hosking

Artist Cliff Whiting of Te Whānau-a-Apanui (ONZ) has passed away at the age of 81.

Born in 1936 in the small settlement of Te Pōhue on New Zealand’s East Coast, Dr Clifford Hamilton Whiting took inspiration from his community and the environment.

Dr Whiting is recognized for his huge contribution to New Zealand Arts and Culture throughout his career which spanned over 50 years.  His work represented across many areas including marae, education, administration and personal works.

A renowned carver he is credited with leading Māori artforms into the 20th century through his innovation and bold techniques.

One of his more noticeable contributions was his input and creation of the marae at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.  His techniques and style were revolutionary and challenged traditional concepts of Māori art.

Whiting held a number of influential roles during his career including chairman of the Council for Māori and South Pacific arts and Arts Advisor for the Department of Education

Dr Whiting was appointed to the Member of The Order of New Zealand in 1998.