Tauranga iwi leader and Bay of Plenty regional councillor Awanui Black has died.

Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder tonight confirmed to the Bay of Plenty Times Mr Black died in Tauranga Hospital this afternoon after a short illness.

Mr Black, 48, was a highly respected iwi leader and served on the Maori Language Commission.

Mr Leeder said in the short time he had known Mr Black he immensely valued the work he did for the council.

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"He was a highly respected man in Maoridom and Tauranga Moana."

Awanui Black has passed away, aged 48. Photo/File
Awanui Black has passed away, aged 48. Photo/File

More details to follow.