Key Points:

Veteran Maori broadcaster Henare Te Ua has died in Auckland at the age of 74.

He succumbed to emphysema and lung cancer this afternoon.

Mr Te Ua's public broadcasting career spanned four decades, with the final broadcast of his WHENUA! programme broadcast on National Radio in September, 2003.

At the time, RNZ Maori programming manager Paul Bushnell described Mr Te Ua, of Ngati Porou, as having "phenomenal experience" in the industry.

"Henare brings amazing mana to his job because he has the ability to move between worlds and bring those two worlds together to interact in a positive way.

"He is the last of his generation of broadcasters and if you were to ask me who is the best Maori broadcaster, or broadcaster in general for that matter, I would say he is."

For Mr Te Ua, the show was a major highlight of his career.

"I've become accustomed to explaining Maori culture to a non-Maori audience and communicating across the cultures," he said. "My attitude has always been, if you want to come along on a cultural journey with me then I will guide you."

Mr Te Ua was also known for his contribution to the Maori community, accompanying the Te Maori exhibition as a tribal elder in the late 1980s.

He was a grandson of Maori leader Sir Apirana Ngata.