Family and friends are saying their final goodbyes to Jim Anderton this afternoon.

The former deputy Prime Minister is being buried at Onetangi Cemetery, on Waiheke Island.

Anderton died last weekend, two weeks shy of his 80th birthday.

As Anderton's casket was unloaded from the hearse and carried to his burial plot a haka performed by mourners rang out.


A priest led the procession.

A speech made in both English and Māori remembered him as a loved husband, father, grandfather and a man of principle.

The burial closed with a song and a prayer.

Former Labour list MP Dover Samuels was among the mourners. He shared a stories about his time fishing with Anderton and their friendship.

About 100 people gathered at the cemetery.

It is where his mother is buried and where he spent many years as a child, family friend Josie Pagani said.

"There's a big family connection here.

"He was very much an Aucklander and an adopted Cantabrian."

Pagani, who worked in Anderton's office while he was a Labour poltician, said it was fitting to have a public funeral in Christchurch and a smaller gathering of friends, family and political associates in Auckland.

"It's a time for family and those who really loved Jim as a husband, a friend and a mentor," she said.

• READ MORE: Political Roundup: Jim Anderton – the man who saved the left in NZ

Hundreds attended his funeral in Christchurch on Thursday afternoon, held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Addington, Christchurch.

Among those who came to pay their respects at the funeral were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Wigram MP and Cabinet Minister Megan Woods (Anderton's successor in Wigram), Christchurch Mayor and former Labour MP Lianne Dalziel, Auckland Mayor and former Labour leader Phil Goff, former Labour leader David Cunliffe, and Christchurch-based MPs including Labour's Ruth Dyson, Poto Williams and National's Gerry Brownlee and David Carter.

Emotional and loving tributes were given by Anderton's children and his grandchildren were his pallbearers.

The funeral was open for the public to attend and streamed live on YouTube.

• READ MORE: Funeral for Jim Anderton held in Christchurch