A man killed when a van and bus collided on Auckland's North Shore has been remembered by his wife as a loving husband and father with a "lust for life".

Willie Myburgh, 45, who was driving the van, died at the scene of the crash on Waipa Rd in Birkenhead just before midday on December 9.

No passengers were on the Birkenhead Transport bus but the driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to North Shore Hospital.

When Myburgh was 16, his own father died in a car crash in South Africa. He was 43.

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Myburgh leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Wanda, and their children, Mercia, 20, and Melvin, 18.

Wanda Myburgh told the Herald she was still in shock.

"It's unbelievable. He was so loving and caring; a very giving person, he would help out everyone."

Myburgh was driving a van for Kaar, the auto-repair business where he worked, at the time of the crash.

Birkenhead Transport had sent the family flowers. Wanda Myburgh said she hadn't heard from the bus driver involved in the crash, but she didn't have any resentment towards him.

Originally from South Africa, the family moved to New Zealand 14 years ago.

"We built a life in New Zealand. We never regretted coming here. [Willie] loved fishing and loved going out on his motorbike with his children.

"He had a real lust for life and lots of energy ... but he did also love sleeping in his La-Z-Boy."

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Daughter Mercia said her father always cared for others and knew how to make anyone laugh.

"He was very much a family man. [He] always tried his hardest to give me and my brother as much as he could.

"Dad was as [many] people say 'a gentle giant'. Initially you would think he is this big guy that's almost intimidating but when you really get to know him you soon find that he is really a big teddy bear just full of love and kindness."

The family would spend Christmas at home together.

Myburgh's sister, Karin, said family was very important to him.

"He was a family man like our dad and would give/do everything for his family and everybody loved him for his honesty and heart of gold.

"His wife Wanda and the two kids, Mercia and Melvin, coloured his world.

"He will live forever in my and the entire family's hearts and will never ever be forgotten. "

Myburgh's funeral was to be held at the North Harbour Chapel of Dil's Funeral Services in Albany on December 16. He would be buried at North Shore Memorial Park Cemetery.