Ngai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu have farewelled Te Puru o Te Rangi Parata, who died this week at the age of 73.
Mr Parata's career in the Department of Maori Affairs and the Maori Land Court started in 1955 after leaving Dannevirke High School.
He continued to consult on land and whakapapa issues, including unravelling the Ngai Tahu Ancillary Claims, until three years ago.
Waatea News reports he was a keen performer with kapa haka groups throughout his life, and also served on school boards, local government, the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board and the Ngai Tahu Economic Development Committee.
Mr Parata was awarded a Queen's Service Medal in the New Year's Honours for his community service.