6 Sep 2019

Whanau want apology after defaced family portrait appears on TV

From First Up, 5:45 am on 6 September 2019

An angry whanau says a contestant on The Block defaced a portrait of their kuia and they're calling for a formal apology. Turangi couple Mikaere and Sophia Gardiner, who have been renovating the penthouse in the reality tv show, were asked by the judges to remove the portraits, because they didn't think they would be to everyone's taste. Mikaere, repainted a famous portrait of kuia Kirikino Kohitu and drew all over her face. The original photo of the kuia was taken in 1970 as part of a series documenting the lives of kuia and the whakapapa and art of moko. Kirikino's portrait was one of several that street artist Mikaere has repainted and drawn over causing widespread offence. Kirikino's great grandaughter, Marie Brown is among many claiming their ancestors have been dishonoured and disrespected.