Archbishop Brown Turei, one of the leaders of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Polynesia, will be remembered at a funeral tomorrow.

He died surrounded by his family and loved ones in Gisborne Hospital on Monday.

His body is lying in state at Kauaetangohia Marae, on the East Cape.

The Archbishop, aged 92, had signalled his intention to retire from ordained ministry last year.


He was to resign as Bishop of Tairawhiti and as Archbishop, leader of the Maori arm of the Anglican Church - Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa - in March this year.

"Maoridom and the Anglican Church have lost a leader of enormous stature," said Archbishop Philip Richardson.

"A gentle and wise leader who brought grace, compassion and insight to all that he did and said."

Archbishop Turei was ordained a deacon in 1949 and a priest the following year.

He was elected Bishop of Aotearoa and was the first Ngati Porou person to hold this position.

He was consecrated as Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in 2006.

Archbishop Turei was highly respected for his ability to relate to people across all races and cultures and was the oldest Primate in the Anglican Communion.

In the 2016 New Year honours list, he was recognised for his long service to the church and community by being named as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

A funeral procession left Brown Turei's home in Gisborne on Wednesday, taking him to Whangara where his body lay in state overnight.

Yesterday morning the funeral cortege went to Kauaetangohia Marae.

Anglican Taonga said William Brown Turei spent his earliest days in that area.

His funeral service would be held at 11am tomorrow, and he would be interred at Aorangi urupa, which is the Turei whanau cemetery.

- Gisborne Herald