Tauranga artist Graham Hoete, aka Mr G, has announced he will be removing his mural of the late Awanui Black, following accusations made on social media.
In a statement released on his official artist page, Graham says his mural will be removed immediately.
“I have contacted the team at council and will be removing the mural I painted of Awa effective immediately.”
The announcement follows a video which has been released by Awanui’s wife, Ani, and features a number of allegations about her late husband.
“Had I known about [his] damaging behaviour I would never have even entertained the thought of painting a mural to honour him,” says Graham.
“I wholeheartedly stand with and support Ani and her whanau.”
The piece was painted over the top of a mural of Graham's father, which was done in 2015 at the festival’s inauguration.
Graham said at the time the image of his father was quite faded and as such he wanted to paint something fresh on top.
His mural depicts Awanui doing an intense haka, with the Pukehinahina flag unfurled behind him.
Awanuiārangi Black passed away at the age of 48 on November 30, 2016.