The sale of three Charles Goldie portraits owned by Kiri Te Kawana went under the hammer last night and the sale attracted buyers with deep pockets.
The Te Rarawa ancestor Tāmati Pehiriri is the subject of a renowned Goldie portrait which was the main feature at the auction.
According to the director of the International Art Centre, Richard Thomson, "Tamati here fetched for $922,000 and he was sold to an Auckland buyer".
But according to a Te Rārawa spokesman it is customary for those works to be gifted back to the people.
Haami Piripi says, "Tamati Pehiriri has links to Te Rarawa and is a descendant of Te Uri Taniwha and Ngāpuhi. He was an elder who traveled all throughout the North".
Tamati wasn't the only ancestor to grace the art auction line up last night.
Thomson says, "The other Goldies had some pretty good offers on them as well. We were very close to selling Tihi for $550,000 and Whare Kauri Tahuna is still under negotiation".