I had the opportunity to witness the spine-tingling haka performed in Rotorua on Thursday for Sean Wainui, who died in a tragic crash in Tauranga this week.
Wainui, a talented rugby player, was only 25 years old.
Juniors from Whakarewarewa Rugby Club gathered in their club uniform at Te Manawa with their parents and supporters.
They did their club, their sport and - I'm sure - Wainui's family, proud.
It was stirring and poignant and the emotion in the air was palpable.
Framed pictures of Wainui had been placed on a nearby bench, giving those involved a visual reminder of why they were there.
It was obvious this man carried a lot of mana and had made a big impact in the short time he had been in the Bay.
Organiser Murray Sturt summed it up nicely: "It was loud, proud and it represented all our kids who looked up to the man. You can tell just by the people who showed up today that he has really been that role model."
As of Friday afternoon, an astounding $245,000 had been raised on the Givealittle page set up by the Chiefs Rugby Club in his memory.
The money is intended for his wife, with whom he had only just recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary, and their two children.
The depth of loss felt from Wainui's death is evident in this outpouring of support for his family, and in the public acts of tribute that have been performed in his memory.
It is also reflected in the efforts whānau and friends are making to be able to attend his tangi in Gisborne, which is in level 2.
Health officials had been approached for travel exemptions by people in Auckland wanting to pay their respects.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said there will always be a limit to numbers, but the Government does take cultural needs into account.
He said deaths during Covid-19 and the issuing of exemptions is a "truly difficult area".
Restrictions on funerals and tangi have surely been one of the most challenging parts of the Covid era for so many families.
It has been a reminder of how much these rituals of collective grief and healing mean in our culture.
The limitations on gatherings have been necessary to avoid these events becoming tragedies in their own right.
The new system for managing Covid-19 outbreaks announced yesterday will see more changes for these sorts of gatherings, with more focus on attendees being vaccinated.
Even under the strictest "red light" setting, gatherings could go ahead with up to 100 people with 1m spacing and mandatory vaccination certificates, but events that do not require attendees to prove they have been vaccinated will be limited to 10 people.
We all want to get back to being able to mourn and celebrate the lives of our loved ones together without restrictions.
The message from yesterday's announcement was clear: High rates of vaccination are how we get there.
In the meantime, we can show we care in times of grief in other ways, be it a haka, hug or a handshake.