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Do you know this man?

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

A painting of a stately, elderly Maori man rescued from the Featherston tip 40 years ago is looking for a new home.

The woman who found the painting, a water colour on paper but pasted onto a canvas backing, has kept the portrait in her home.

Recently she decided, while having a clean-out, to try and locate any possible relatives of the subject.

“I have approached a couple of people from local iwi and Wairarapa Archive but nobody has yet been able to positively identify the man,” she said.

In 1976 she watched as a trailer with a mixture of garden waste and various household items was dumped at the tip and later found the painting was among discarded items.

“Those days it was behind glass, which had smashed as the trailer was unloaded and some of the shards actually punctured the painting.

“The frame was a thin, gold coloured one that was of poor quality so I didn’t keep it,” she said.

The woman, who did not want her name published, said ideally she wanted to have the Maori man identified and to find whanau who would be interested in having his portrait returned to them.

She believes the painting would date back to the early 20th Century and that it depicts a man of mana.

Anyone who believes they could by related to the man should contact the Times-Age and messages will be passed on to the finder.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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