Maurice John Riddle was remembered as a man with "twinkly green eyes," who was generous and friendly to all during his funeral in Eltham earlier this afternoon.
The funeral for the 78-year-old semi-retired farmer was attended by hundreds of people who filled the All Saints Anglican Church in Eltham, spilling into the next door hall where the service was live streamed onto a big screen.
Riddle died at a Normanby property last week. A 68-year-old man has been charged with murder. He was remanded in custody by consent in the New Plymouth District Court earlier this week and will appear in the New Plymouth High Court on February 28.
Family spoke of how Riddle was often the last person to leave a party. They spoke of how his death was a shock and how they felt numb and saddened by the death which shocked the community.
The well-known farmer had a love of nature and animals and had donated to many charities.
His family joked about how he was always late and enjoyed social occasions like funerals as it meant that he could catch up with friends and family. Family thanked emergency services and the community for its support.