A moving haka echoed around the field of Evans Bay Park in Wellington today, as rugby players from Pua Magasiva's old school paid tribute to the actor.
Magasiva died during the early hours of Saturday morning. His death has been referred to the coroner and is not being treated as suspicious.
Magasiva attended St Patrick's College with his brother Robbie. He also played in the 1st XV rugby team.
The team wore black armbands out of respect for the 38-year-old, as they played St Johns College on Wednesday afternoon.
Player Khya Wilson lay a St Patricks rugby jersey on the pitch before the match. He then led a team haka as hundreds of pupils and spectators watched on.
1st XV captain Ronaldo Saumanufagai said they were using the game to remember and honour Pua.
"Just to celebrate what he's done for us as a school ... I think it's good the first team pay some respect to him."
In a Facebook post, St Patricks College said Magasiva was known to many in the rugby community.
"Our 1st XV coaches Galu Letiu and Kas Lealamanua have a close connection with the Magasiva family."
After leaving school, Magasiva went on to play rugby at Marist St Pats Rugby Club, in Hataitai.
Club president Ken Ah Kuoi told the Herald the Magasiva family was well known to the club as players and supporters.
"Pua and his siblings grew up in Wellington, attended St Patrick's College in Kilbirnie, Wellington. Pua has played with the club after St Pats College, a great player in his own right but I think he wanted to [rather] pursue his acting career."
A private funeral and reception for family and close friends will be held on Friday afternoon.