The buyer of a treasured Charles F. Goldie painting, sold tonight to man from China, will have to ask permission from the Government if he wants to take it out of the country.

The man, who did not want to be identified, made the winning $1.175m bid for the 1941 oil painting, A Noble Relic of a Noble Race.

Through his agent, he would only tell the New Zealand Herald he is "New Zealand Chinese" and that he bought the painting because he "loves Goldie's artwork very much". He did not want to say if he planned to export the painting.

Ministry of Culture and Heritage spokesman Tony Wallace told the Herald tonight the painting was considered a protected object and permission must be sought under the Protected Objects Act for it to be exported.


Protected items included artworks and objects related to Maori culture and history that are more than 50 years old, Mr Wallace said.

Any application to export a protected object is considered on a case by case basis, he said.

"There is a process to go through and we can't pre-empt that."

The auctioneer had made it clear to those bidding for the painting that it was subject to the act.

A Noble Relic of a Noble Race sold at auction tonight. Photo / Supplied
A Noble Relic of a Noble Race sold at auction tonight. Photo / Supplied

The painting was auctioned tonight at the International Art Centre in Parnell.

There were four serious bidders for the 1941 oil painting of chief Wharekauri Tahuna, which was privately owned.

The painting, completed six years before Goldie's death, was tipped to go for between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Bids opened at $600,000.

It's one of the many pieces of art on sale as part of the Important, Early and Rare auction.


The previous highest price paid for a Goldie was about $960,000 at a London auction.