A Tauranga City Councillor and former National Party MP who was renowned for being a ''straight shooter'' has died.
Gail McIntosh, 62, passed away on Thursday night in Tauranga Hospital, leaving behind a legacy of public service including driving the redevelopment of the central city.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said she was an indispensable member of the National Party and very well known among the party's hierarchy from Bill English down.
Read more: Tauranga councillor Gail McIntosh dies
McIntosh was on the panel that selected Bridges as the party's candidate for Tauranga in 2008 and served as his election day manager for every election - a job that included organising volunteers and scrutineers.
''She was a really good stick and had a wicked sense of humour.''
Bridges said McIntosh had always pushed for women. ''That was a big part of why she went to Parliament."
The chartered accountant was the MP for Lyttelton from 1990-93. Twenty years later she was elected to one of the four at-large seats on the Tauranga City Council.
Tauranga's mayor during her first term on the council was Stuart Crosby. He told Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that what he always enjoyed was how she was very clear on her views on things.
''You always knew what she was thinking.''
Crosby said she had a strong focus on council finances and some of her best work was chairing the city redevelopment forum.
''That will be her legacy in Tauranga.''
He said McIntosh put a lot of work into the forum behind the scenes, even when she was unwell with cancer.
Tauranga's current Mayor Greg Brownless described her as a straight shooter. ''You knew exactly where you stood, but underneath it, she was a very caring person.
He said McIntosh had a no-nonsense outlook on life and her ability as an accountant made her a natural to chair the council's audit and finance committee.
''Beneath that tough exterior, she had the community at heart.''
McIntosh was an active member of Zonta International and was also a staunch advocate for the Marine Precinct in Sulphur Point and the high-performance sports centre at Blake Park.
Funeral details were still being finalised.