Grieving relatives of slain taxi driver Hiren Mohini have told mourners at his funeral this afternoon his death was an "unimaginable and unfathomable event" and described his killer as "barbaric".

The 39-year-old father of two young girls, was described as a hard working, gentle man who was always smiling.

He died from multiple stab wounds after a frenzied knife attack in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden early on Sunday morning.

Police said today that he may have been killed for the $15.20 taxi fare from the city centre to Mt Eden because there were no signs he had been robbed.

A huge cortege of more than 300 taxis with black ribbons on their aerials joined a funeral cortege travelling to the service. Neighbours came out on to the streets to pay their respects.

Mourners spilt out of the front door at the Waikumete cemetery gathering. Inside family, friends, colleagues and dignitaries told stories of the generous man who had a smile for everyone.

One speaker told the gathering that in all his time as a driver Mr Mohini didn't have one complaint made against him but he had received numerous glowing reviews.

Those at the service were largely from the Indian community with men wearing traditional black suits and women wearing saris.

Much of the ceremony was conducted in Hindi.

Taxi Federation executive director Tim Reddish described
Mr Mohini as "kind, generous and humble in spirit, and God knows we need more people like that".

He also apologised "for using this occasion to make a political speech, but surely enough is enough".

He pleaded with police, firearm law enforcement officials and taxi colleagues to use everything in their collective power to protect vulnerable and defenceless drivers.

He said this was the second funeral he'd attended in 15 months where a young life had been cut short, and the second time a young woman had been widowed and two young children left behind.

At the end of the ceremony everyone present filed through the church and sprinkled petals on the body, including Mr Mohini's two-year-old who was carried up by family member.

Some drivers, shocked at the brutal death of their colleague, said they would no longer work at nights because they were scared they too would be attacked like Mr Mohini.

Family members said the support they had received had allowed them to grieve and draw strength and courage through their loss.

- with NZPA