Radio DJ Kevin Black died at his home in the Auckland suburb of Remuera on Monday night.
The 69-year-old was formerly a breakfast host on Radio Hauraki and Solid Gold.
Black began his career with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in Dunedin and went on to become the highest-paid radio announcer in the country during the peak of his career with Radio Hauraki.
In a 2005 interview preserved in the Sound Archives, he spoke about his life and times.
He had run away to sea as a young man, after watching ships in Welllington harbour. It was the impressions of overseas radio that led him to eventually join the Radio Hauraki crew on the ship Tiri II.
Long-time colleague and friend Phil Gifford told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Tuesday that Black made breakfast radio entertaining and pioneered prank calls in New Zealand.
He said Black was a terrific performer who understood radio very well.
Former newsreader John Hawkesby, who worked with him at Radio Hauraki and Classic Hits, said he broke the mould of the usual breakfast radio presenter.
He said Black was mischievous, charming and his prank calls were legendary.