In his last conversation with his mother before he died in a diving accident, Tyron North told her, "I know that I've got a short time to live".
The 37-year-old and his friend Daniel Stoneham, 33, died while on a training programme at Lake Pupuke last week. On Friday, friends and family gathered to farewell the men.
"He was a full person. A beautiful-looking person and people did love him, I know," said his mother Yvonne.
In the Hokianga, friends and family farewelled Stoneham.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kim Libby said North Shore police were still investigating the cause of the accident.