Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki dies

A requiem mass for Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki will be held in Holy Trinity Cathedral this Saturday.

Taonga News  |  11 Oct 2014  |

Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki – a much-loved art curator, historian and Anglican churchman – died peacefully in Auckland last night after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70.

A leading scholar of Maori art, he was at various times Dean of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, head of Elam Art School, and head of arts and visual culture at Te Papa.

He also served on a wide range of national and international bodies, including Te Haerewa, Auckland Art Gallery's Maori advisory group.

Jonathan was also a talented artist, earning high praise from Colin McCahon.

His requiem will be in Holy Trinity Cathedral this Saturday at 10.30am, after which he will be taken to his marae in the Hokianga for burial.

The requiem mass has been meticulously planned by Jonathan, his partner Paul Bushnell, and David Guthrie over several months and will feature sections of the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Cathedral singers, the Mass for Three Voices by Byrd, some specially composed music, a work by Jack Body and a concelebration by up to eight priests.

The service booklet itself runs to 32 pages, printed in full colour with photographs and text that interprets the various elements of the service.

Jonathan insisted that the requiem be a celebration of his faith, not centrally about his life. David Guthrie will give the address.

The opening hymn will be “All people that on earth do dwell", accompanied by the orchestra, connecting this occasion with Marsden’s service which was attended by Jonathan’s ancestors.

The Byrd mass was one Jonathan had himself sung at Assisi. 

Just last month, he was invested at Government House as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

He said he was prepared to die. "I am relaxed about it, what else can I be?"

He is survived by his partner Paul and sister Moea. 

• Read his extraordinary story

• Listen to Jonathan talk about his impending death