The last member of the 28th Maori Battalion A Company "Gumdiggers"', Charlie Petera, has died, aged 92.
Mr Petera fought during World War II in North Africa and Italy between 1941 and 1945.
He died at his home in Ngataki in the Far North on Friday.
Northland MP and New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters sent his condolences to Mr Petera's family.
"Yet another of New Zealand's fine young men who took up arms on our behalf is gone -- they spent time away from their home country in places of conflict doing their duty."
New Zealand First Maori affairs spokesman Pita Paraone said Mr Petera had come home from war and continued his service for others.
"He gave so much to his people.
"He carried on the spirit of the Maori Battalion and it lives on through our memories of Charlie and his fellow soldiers."
Chief executive of Whangarei's Leadership Academy of A Company, Raewyn Tipene, learned of Mr Petera's death on her way home from Sir Graham Latimer's tangi.
Ms Tipene said Mr Petera was integral in the establishment of the academy, which works with whanau, high schools and the wider community to support young Maori men with talent or academic potential.
"It cannot be underestimated the importance of this man to our kaupapa."
The Maori Battalion suffered the greatest losses of any Allied force at Monte Cassino, with 120 casualties out of a force of 200. Fifty-eight of those casualties were buried in the war cemetery there, among more than 400 other New Zealanders.
Mr Petera's funeral will be held on Tuesday.