Luke Cochrane, the 19-year-old who is believed to have drowned in Whitianga last month, was this afternoon farewelled in the gymnasium of his old school, ACG Strathallan, in Papakura.

Luke was last seen about 10.30pm on September 24 after leaving a remembrance function for his friend's father at the Whitianga Fire Station.

Close to 1000 mourners packed into the hall to farewell their friend, brother, son and relative.

Catherine Tamati, mother of Luke Cochrane with husband Glenn Tamati (Luke's stepdad). Photo / Supplied
Catherine Tamati, mother of Luke Cochrane with husband Glenn Tamati (Luke's stepdad). Photo / Supplied

Luke's mother, Catherine Tamati, said her first born was named Lucas, but immediately took on the nickname Luke, but was known as "Lukey" to close family and friends.

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She said he always had "heaps of friends", even from his days in daycare.

A group of friends performed a haka as family brought his casket out of the building.

Tamati said her son loved all sports, including hockey, football, golf and cricket.

Dave Cochrane, Luke's father, said his son also enjoyed rugby league.

"Along with the Canberra Raiders and a bit of the Warriors. I can't quite understand that one and I used to tell him that on a regular basis as well, but he still liked the Warriors."

Cochrane said his son would be "surprised and embarrassed" by the turnout for his funeral, but he'd no doubt capture it for social media.

"He would have that silly grin on his face and then he would be out with one of his phones, he had a few, to snap it for Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat."

A hat belonging to Luke Cochrane was found close to the water's edge somewhere along this stretch of the waterway, residents say. Photo / Belinda Feek
A hat belonging to Luke Cochrane was found close to the water's edge somewhere along this stretch of the waterway, residents say. Photo / Belinda Feek

Given his son's strong sporting skills, he would have been unimpressed with his life innings, he said.



"As a batsman I can tell you that he would not be happy with 19 runs to his name. No way."

Members of the Papakura Cricket Club and his football team - The Expendables - all paid tribute to him.

His granddad, Wallace, said Luke was a young man embarking on life when "suddenly it's all over".

"It has been a pleasure watching Luke grow up and the world is certainly a poorer place for his passing."

During the search, the family had endured "a rollercoaster of emotions".

"Searching, hoping, praying, but we still couldn't find Luke."

He was eventually discovered by divers in a waterway off Aquila Dr on Wednesday evening.