Respected community leader and family member, Denis Hansen (Ngāpuhi) passed away suddenly yesterday.
While he was driving to his home in West Auckland, he collided with another car and was killed.
Te Kāea understands he suffered a heart attack, but police say the confirmed cause of death is still being investigated.
He was recently thrown an 80th birthday party where his many achievements and efforts were celebrated. He was hugely respected in his community.
He fulfilled a number of roles over the years at the Department of Māori Affairs, was involved in penal reform policy, victim support, and restorative justice as well as rehabilitation projects. He also served as chairman of Māori Rugby.
An unexpected and shocking loss, and grief is rife.