A heartfelt haka has been performed as hundreds farewell Tauranga teacher Logan Gemming.
Hundreds of people have packed out the Tauranga Boys' College gymnasium to Logan Gemming.
Gemming, 37, a physical education and health teacher and a Year 11 dean at Tauranga Boys' College, died in a kitesurfing accident at Fergusson Park on Sunday.
Flowers lined the front of the gym and programmes with Logan's smiling face were placed on each of the college chairs.
Kitesurfing sails were displayed at the front of the gym to mark the sport Gemming loved.
Students performed an emotional haka as the coffin was taken to the hearse after the service, to be followed by a private cremation.
Gemming's loss would be felt widely in the community because he had "the most beautiful heart", long-time friend Wayne Gribble said told the Bay of Plenty Times earlier this week.
He came from a "huge hockey" family with mum Gill recently made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in last year's Queen's Birthday Honours, Gribble said.
Gemming's dad John had also served as a long-time Tauranga doctor, who often volunteered at local hockey matches.
Gemming himself had been a star player, who represented Tauranga and Bay of Plenty representative teams.
Gribble - a former teacher at Tauranga Boys' College - had known Gemming since he was a student at the school and member of its hockey team that was also coached by Gribble.
After graduating, Gemming then returned to the school as a teacher where he also became a coach of the hockey team alongside Gribble, until Gribble moved on to a new job.
"I've watched him grow into an absolutely stunning young man. He is an absolutely committed and loving husband and father to his wife and three boys," Gribble said.
Logan was a highly respected teacher not only by his colleagues but by the boys he taught and mentored as a dean. He had "a genuine belief in young people and the place education has in their wellbeing," he said.
Gribble said it was hard for friends and family to come to grips with the tragedy because Gemming had been incredibly safety-conscious and reliable.
"He's the sort of guy you would have had every trust and confidence in that every element of safety had been attended to," he said.
"He was very experienced at managing all sorts of water-based physical education activities at Tauranga Boys' College."
Gribble said Gemming's loss would leave a hole in the hearts of many.
"If I could sum Logan up, he was a man that had the most beautiful heart. His loss is huge for his family - in particular for his wife Kylie and his three boys - but also this loss is going to be felt far wider in the community as well."
Tauranga Boys' College principal Robert Mangan said he and the school community were reeling. "It's a devastating tragedy, Logan was not only a fantastic teacher, a much-loved husband, dedicated father of his three young sons, he was the quintessential good bloke," he said.
Mangan said Gemming also coached the first XI hockey team.
"Logan was a highly respected teacher and community leader who dedicated his life to teaching and helping young people to develop to their full potential. Logan was an outstanding, fine young man," he said. His wife Kylie was also due to start teaching at the college next month, looking after the alternative education programme at the school, Mangan said.
"The school community is still in disbelief that this tragedy happened.
"It's still hard to believe as Logan absolutely loved kitesurfing and he was very safety-conscious."
Mangan said the tragedy was "very personal" as he had not only taught Logan at Tauranga Boys' College in 1998 but later employed him as one of his teachers in 2003.
He had also known Logan's parents, Dr John Gemming and Gillian Gemming, for about 30 years. Gillian has been director of hockey at the college for many years, Mangan said.