Commentator and Kaipara planning consultant Owen McShane died suddenly yesterday.
In recent years, McShane was a contributor to the National Business Review but had been a long-time commentator on Auckland planning issues and the Resource Management Act.
His wife, Jenny, yesterday sent a note to his friends and associates telling them of his death.
"Please know that he valued your friendship and intellectual support so much," she said.
Herald columnist Fran O'Sullivan said on Facebook that McShane's death came about a year after he had a major heart operation.
David Farrar, of political blog Kiwiblog, said McShane contributed a huge amount to public policy ranging from being a commentator to having done ministerial reviews of the Resource Management Act.
"He was a wealth of knowledge on planning issues, and a consistent voice for less regulation and centralised control.
"He was a fine New Zealander, and will be missed," Farrar wrote on his site.
With a background in architecture and town planning, McShane often advised on strategic planning, marketing and business development activities.