Kaipara's colourful amateur historian and west coast wreck expert Noel Hilliam has died.
Mr Hilliam passed away on Sunday at his home at Dargaville, west of Whangarei.
He was widely regarded as an authority on wrecks on Kaipara's rugged west coast, and also formed the controversial view that there was pre-Maori occupation of Northland by mariners hailing from Wales and the Mediterranean.
Mr Hilliam was in the news earlier this year after releasing images that he said were pre-Maori Northland inhabitants, recreated from skulls he had found.
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Archaeologists and historians rejected the controversial claim.
A public celebration of his life is planned for Thursday at 1.30pm, in Dargaville.