A funeral is to be held tomorrow for Far North community stalwart Murray Rae at Te Ahu, the Kaitaia civic centre he helped make a reality.
Mr Rae, 75, died on Friday morning after a brief illness. He was one of the original Te Ahu trustees and was voted on to Te Hiku Community Board last year.
Mayor John Carter described Mr Rae's death as a huge loss to the North.
He was a "great guy" who had made a significant contribution to his community, and had been expected to continue doing so for many years to come.
"He had my respect and the respect of his peers. He will be very badly missed, by the community board, the Te Ahu Trust and the wider community."
Te Ahu Charitable Trust chairman Mike Mitcalfe said Mr Rae's death had been a shock. He had played an important role in the trust's early days and recently returned. "His experience, business nous, all that he brought to the trust was very valuable. He is going to leave a huge gap.
"On behalf of the trust I would like to extend my aroha and condolences to his family."
After the service at 1pm, Mr Rae will be interred at Victoria Valley, near Kaitaia.
He is survived by his wife, Doreen, children Heather, Joanne and Stephen, and eight grandchildren.