Alan Te Hiko, the youngest person in New Zealand to have died from Covid-19, has been laid to rest almost a week after he lost a battle to the deadly virus.
The 58-year-old father-of-four died last Friday in Middlemore Hospital after battling the virus he contracted at his workplace, Americold.
Te Hiko, who was a team leader at the Mt Wellington coolstore, worked alongside the index case of what was initially labelled the South Auckland cluster.
Work colleagues were among those who paid their respects at Te Hiko's funeral yesterday.
Michael Tonga worked under Te Hiko and described his boss as a "natural born leader" who was always the hardest worker in the room but who also enjoyed rugby league banter - particularly about his favourite team, the Warriors.
"Words cannot express the honour and love we felt being invited to speak at the service and also to carry our leader [and] brother to his resting place," he wrote on Facebook.
Kia kaha, Te Hiko whānau
His colleagues - all donning face masks - were shown in video footage carrying their friend's casket at the cemetery.
As they go about their task solemnly, heads bowed, a roaring haka starts up in the background. A woman can be heard wailing.
Tonga thanked the Te Hiko whānau for letting them be a part of their loved one's day and also sent them a message of encouragement - "Kia kaha".
"Well, Alan - there's not much I can say on here, as we already said it to you today. But like we said, this is not a goodbye but a see you later. Until we meet again, brother."
Te Hiko's death last week came hours before a second Covid-related death was announced.
Prominent Pasifika doctor and former Cook Islands Prime Minister Dr Joe Williams died on the same day as Te Hiko, but whose death was announced the next morning.
Williams was the first person in the cluster to have been hospitalised.
It is still not known exactly how he caught the virus. However, his practice - Mt Wellington Integrated Health Centre - is not far from the Americold coolstore.