Slain policeman Len Snee was farewelled by family members with a rousing haka after an emotional funeral attended by thousands in Napier today.

His colleague Senior Constable Paul Symonds told those who packed into the Municipal Theatre and the throng outside listening to the service via speakers, Senior Constable Snee was skilled, intelligent and highly revered.

"We will toast you today Len. And I even know bad people will too - such was the mana of you.

"We have grieved for five days. Today we show our pride."

Mr Symonds then stood in front of the casket, draped with the New Zealand Police flag and Mr Snee's police cap and saluted his fallen mate.

Mr Snee was shot dead by Jan Molenaar last Thursday as he and two other officers were carrying out a routine cannabis inquiry.

Two other officers and a civilian were also badly injured when shot by Molenaar.

One of the officers Constable Grant Diver was brought from Hawke's Bay Hospital and wheeled in on a hospital bed into the theatre for the service, screened off from the congregation.

Later he helped form a police guard of honour as Mr Snee's casket was taken from the building.

Other mourners included Prime Minister John Key, Police Minister Judith Collins, Maori co-leader Pita Sharples and Police Commissioner Howard Broad.

During the service, Mr Broad described Mr Snee as a hero.

"Len was not a hero on the day he died. Len was a hero every day he went to work."

Mr Broad said police work always held the risk of unexpected harm.

"Our officers know that. And in wearing that uniform, our officers accept that.

"That to me is true heroism."

Several tributes to Mr Snee were taking place overseas, Mr Broad said.

"I know that the New Zealand flag is flying at half mast in Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan as we attend this service here today."

He also paid tribute to Leonard Holmwood, a civilian who was shot while trying to wrestle the gun from Molenaar.

Inspector Michael O'Leary said he could always rely on Mr Snee in a crisis "not only to do things right but to do the right things".

Mr Snee's sons Sam and Joe spoke of the strength of their father.

They admired and respected their Dad and said he was always there to listen when they needed to talk.

"Dad's loving strength and calmness have inspired us to stand here today,"

Brian Morris, a friend of Mr Snee's, said he was a man of few words, but of great character.

"You will be recognised by the world through your deeds," he said.

Mr Snee's cousin, Arthur Snee, said he was a "colossal man who strode through his profession".

"He will never be forgotten."

Mr Snee's casket was taken from the theatre by his fellow policemen, following a piper.

Outside about 50 members of Mr Snee's family, including Mr Sharples, gave a rousing haka as he was taken through a police guard of honour that also included 25 police dogs.

As he was placed into the hearse a police helicopter flew low over the crowd.

In a show of support to Mr Snee, posts and trees on Napier's main street had black ribbons tied around them and many workers wore black for the day and staff at the Bank of New Zealand had donned black ribbons around their wrists.

- NZPA