"A grandfather of the people"... "a Māori leader of the highest esteem."
These are some of the ways people have remembered former Māori Affairs Minister Koro Wētere, who was buried today in Te Kuiti.
More than 500 people gathered at Tūrangawaewae in Ngaruawahia this morning for a funeral service for Mr Wētere, who died of cancer on Saturday, a day after his 83rd birthday.
Lining the pathway at Tūrangawaewae Marae, kaikaranga in black, wearing tauā or crowns of leaves, mourned the loss.
His tūpāpaku was carried down the path, meeting a chorus of men with taiaha, before leaving the marae.
The crisp, cold morning started with church, followed by a hākari, where a huge spread of oysters, hangi, boil up and other kaimoana was served for breakfast.
The funeral service was held in the marquees outside. Tukoroirangi Morgan from the Kīngitanga paid the final tribute.
"You will never be forgotten, because you will always be a father, a grandfather to all of us ... of the Kīngitanga and of Rātana," he said.
"Go with love. Haere."
More than 1500 people poured through the marae over the past few days for the tangihanga.
Mr Wētere's cousin Tom Roa said he was a giant in politics and personable man with a big smile.
"He would spend time with Kings, Queens. Nelson Mandella comes to mind," he said.
"But he had no difficulty in coming to the back of the kitchen and sitting with people, even picking up a potato and peeling it."
Mr Wētere was the MP for the Western Māori electorate for 27 years.
That seat turned into what's known today as Te Tai Hauāuru, which is now held by his nephew, Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe.
"Uncle Koro made such a significant contribution on so many different levels across a whole spectrum of areas, including the Kīngitanga, the Rātana church, the Labour movement."
"Everything that he did had a purpose and it is quite daunting to follow in those footsteps."
Alistair Ferris served Mr Wētere as his senior private secretary when he was the Minister of Māori Affairs in the 1980s.
"Koro was one of those people, he was old school," he said.
"He was a man of integrity, a man of his word. Very much a family man."
The Ratana church infamous brass band played today.
Band leader Perenara Ririnui said Mr Wētere brought together the Kīngitanga and the Rātana church.
He said he was a man of many talents, and as a registered apostle of the Ratana Church, he joined people in marriage.
"He married a few and one of the most famous was Mike Moore - he married Mike Moore back in the days," he said.
After spending some time at Oparure Marae near Te Kuiti, Koro Wētere's body was buried at a whānau urupa.
He is survived by his wife, five children, and many mokopuna.
Two other bodies had been lying in state alongside Mr Wētere, Parehikairo Fata and Inia Te Wiata,who were also buried today at Taupiri.