Former Bay of Plenty rugby representative and New Zealand Maori player Toni Marriner has died.
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has paid tribute to Mr Marriner who was a well-respected Bay of Plenty Maori
Rugby administrator, served on the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board (NZMRB) and also chaired Te Hiku O Te Ika (Northern Region) Maori Rugby Council.
NZMRB chairman Wayne Peters said Mr Marriner's contribution to Maori rugby was significant, from representing New Zealand Maori in the 1970s through to his more recent time as an administrator.
"In just over a year on the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board, Toni provided valuable input into all areas of Maori rugby," he said.
"His experience and commitment was considerable and he was very well regarded by his colleagues on the board. Our sympathies go out to his wife Monika and sons Haydn and Shayne, as well as his extended whanau."
As a player Mr Marriner made his mark in provincial rugby for both King Country and Bay of Plenty and represented both New Zealand Junior and New Zealand Maori.
Born in Taumarunui, Marriner came from a family with strong rugby roots. Both his father and brother also played for New Zealand Maori, and his father, John Marriner, also went on to coach the team, and later served on the Maori Rugby Board. One notable achievement was that Mr Marriner played with his father for the New Zealand Maori team.
A service will be held at 1pm tomorrow at Kahukura RFC, Rotorua.