A portrait by renowned New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie of one of his favourite subjects is expected to sell for close to $250,000 when it goes up for auction in Auckland.

Goldie painted Arawa chieftainess Ahinata Te Rangituatini, known as Kapi Kapi, of Rotorua, 24 times before he died from lead poisoning and alcoholism in 1947.

She was a survivor of the Tarawera eruption near Rotorua which killed more than 100 people and destroyed the world-famous Pink and White Terraces in 1886.

One of Goldie's paintings of Kapi Kapi is due to auctioned at the International Art Centre in Parnell later this month and centre director Richard Thomson said it was likely to bring between $180,000 and $240,000.

"She was one of his favourite subjects."

Mr Thomson said another of Goldie's other paintings of Kapi Kapi was also expected to bring up to $240,000 when it was offered for sale in 2008.

"It fetched $325,000 - the same woman, the same size, the same frame but not the same painting."

He said having so many portraits of the same woman by Goldie seemed to add to their value.

"It is a classic Goldie image. When people think of Goldie, they seem to think of Kapi Kapi."

He said Goldie paintings, like other good art, had no downside and were "recession proof."

In the last two years the gallery had sold more than $2 million worth of Goldie paintings.

"In the two years previous to that we would have struggled to sell $500,000 worth," Mr Thomson said.

He said the upcoming auction also featured an 1874 Alfred Sharpe watercolour of the original Orakei Bridge near the Auckland waterfront. That was expected to bring up to $65,000.

The painting had been in a private family collection since 1993.

Other paintings in the sale included an oil by Peter Siddell (expected to bring up to $25,000), an oil by Tim Wilson of the Matukituki River ($35,000), an oil by Petrus van der Velden of Sumner Road in Christchurch ($45,000) and a Frances Hodgkins water colour ($60.000).

- NZPA