Cabinet Minister Shane Jones has described the death of his father, Munro Peter Jones, as the end of an era for the "old Far North."

Mr Jones, universally known as Little Peter (to differentiate him from Awanui Rugby Club team mate and former All Black the late (unrelated) Peter Hilton-Jones), died on Monday, aged 85.

He was the 13th of 17 children born to Raiha Moeroa (Lizzie) and her Welsh husband Edward Llewelyn Jones. His grandfather, Andre Kleskovic, was the first Croatian to marry into Te Aupouri.

A lifelong farmer, he began milking cows as a youngster in 1939, with his brothers.
"He virtually grew up on a horse, and in the 1940s, at 11 years old, he drove cattle with Viv Gregory and Bill Evans from Te Hapua up and down 90 Mile Beach," Shane said.


He was a staunch supporter of Awanui School, was regarded as the best hangi-maker, and chaired the Maimaru Marae committee. The marae regarded him as an authority on whanau genealogy and local Maori land history.

He is survived by his wife Ruth and children Shane, Munro, Angela, Andrew, Moeroa and Peter.

Mr Jones is lying at Maimaru Marae, where his funeral will take place at 10am tomorrow before interment at St Joseph's Anglican Church in Awanui.