The funeral of Hawke's Bay identity Ashley Hartley has been confirmed following the release of his body to family in London.

Mr Hartley's funeral will be held at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale on Saturday, September 24 at 11am.

Mr Hartley died while on holiday with his wife in the United Kingdom on September 3.

He was 68.


His wife, Denise, and daughters, Rachel and Kirsty, will accompany him back to New Zealand and are due to arrive in Hawke's Bay tomorrow.

Mr Hartley was the general manager of Hawke's Bay construction company Gemco Construction.

His career spanned 50 years and during that time he was the lead construction project manager of many of the region's most prominent buildings such as Whakatu Freezing Works, Takapau Meat Plant, Hawke's Bay Prison, Hawke's Bay Hospital, the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park Grandstand, MTG Napier, Farmers Hastings and Napier department stores, among many others.

Gemco managing director Darren Diack said Mr Hartley's sudden death had rocked the building industry throughout New Zealand.

Mr Diack expects a large turnout at the funeral from industry leaders, business and community identities, former and current work colleagues as well as the many tradesmen Mr Hartley worked with during his "stellar career".

"Ashley's reputation within the building industry is unparalleled.

"He's well-respected by his peers as well as the many tradesmen, contractors and suppliers within our industry and beyond.

"We are expecting a large turnout to celebrate Ashley's life and to acknowledge his contribution to the building industry as well as the broader community.

"He was a legend."

Mr Hartley held leadership roles with BCITO, BRANZ, Master Builders, NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors and NZ Institute of Building.

He was also the author of the Guide to Building Administration Best Practice.