Pioneering educationalist Te Kapunga Matemoana "Koro" Dewes, of Ngati Porou, has died at the age of 80.
A pioneering educationalist in the 1960s and 70s, he started in adult education at Auckland University and laid the foundations for Victoria University's Maori Studies Department.
Mr Dewes later returned home to the East Coast and helped form Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.
Runanga chair Apirana Mahuika told Waatea News his cousin and collaborator was a natural leader, coming from chiefly lines of descent in Ngati Porou.
"For that reason I think that he found leadership an easy take, and it wasn't something that he learnt but it's something he was born into and he handled it with great acclaim."
Koro Dewes has been taken to Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa, and a funeral service is to be held at 11am on Friday.