The Bay of Plenty rugby community is mourning the loss of one of its greatest players.
Jim Maniapoto, a Tuwharetoa/Ngāti Pikiao and Tuhourangi descendant, died at the weekend surrounded by his whānau.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said Maniapoto was a stalwart of Bay of Plenty rugby.
"Our condolences go out to [Maniapoto's wife] Anne and their whānau at this time. He was a great man with great mana. He will be missed. His whānau name is synonymous with Bay of Plenty and Māori rugby," Rogers says.
"Jim along with his two older brothers Huri and Manu were famous for their rugby pedigree which saw them represent the Māori All Blacks. He was the third person to play 100 games for Bay of Plenty. His older brother Manu was first to reach this feat followed by Dinny Mohi."
Maniapoto was the youngest of Hema and Mamaeroa Maniapoto's six children who grew up at Te Rangiita on the eastern shores of Lake Taupō.
"Jim was a staunch rugby man who wore his Whakarewarewa jersey, his Bay jersey and his Māori All Black jersey with great pride," Rogers said.
Maniapoto is survived by his wife Anne, his two children and many mokopuna. He will lie in state at Waitetoko Marae, State Highway 1, Turangi. His service will be held on Wednesday, June 19 at 11am.
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