Final prayers for New Zealand Anglican Church leader Arch Bishop William Brown Turei are being held at Kauaetangohia Marae in Cape Runaway.
Local Te Whānau a Kauatangohia and Te Whānau a Apanui Kaumātua Dawson Peta says, "He was a great man and Kauaetangohia are proud to have him."
Last year the 92-year-old Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau a Apanui descendant was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the Anglican Church.
Ngāti Porou leader Selwyn Parata says, "He gave 67-years of his life to the church...he had this charm about him where he could relate with all types of people."
According to the Church Turei was ordained a priest in 1950 and given the title of Tairāwhiti Archdeacon in 1982 after that he became the chaplain of Hukarere Māori Girls' College in 1984.
Following the Church's reforms in 1990 Turei was elected Te Pīhopa o Te Tairāwhiti in 1992.
In 2005 he was elected Te Pīhopa o Aotearoa and in 2006 was installed as Primate and Archbishop in Aotearoa-New Zealand and Polynesia.
In addition to his accolades, Turei also trained with the 15th Reinforcements and in 1945 joined his brother C Company Commanding Officer Major John Hone Hikitia Te Rangi Waititi in Italy but while serving with the 28th Māori Battalion Turei did not see action.
Among those mourning Turei's loss is the Māori King's delegation of representatives for Tainui; King Tuheitia's son Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki, Waikato-Tainui Chair Rahui Papa and Māori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan who made their way to Whangaparaoa to pay their respects. Other delegations have included Mayor Meng Foon, Māori Language Commission's Dr Wayne Ngata, Former Māori Party President Pem Bird and Te Pihopatanga o Te Taitokerau Te Kitohi Pikaahu.
The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell also made his way onto Kauaetangohia Marae flashing a black and yellow striped tie resembling his links to former Anglican Māori School St Stephens.
He says, "Many whānau in my electorate will remember Pīhopa Turei as he served in Parishes in Tauranga, Te Puke and Whakatane."
Earlier this week Turei passed away peacefully in Gisborne hospital surrounded by his whānau and loved ones.