New Zealand Maori Council deputy chair Jim Nicholls died at his home in Thames on Sunday aged 70.
Waatea News reports he flew the flag for a national Maori interest in the face of iwi sectarianism.
The Ngati Hako kaumatua was also the long serving chair of the Hauraki Maori Council.
Hauraki Maori Trust Board chair Toko Renata says Mr Nicholls made a valuable contribution across the rohe, particularly in economic development, but he will be remembered most for the work he did on the national stage.
From Ngati Haua, Ngati Maru and Ngati Hako, the former secondary school teacher and insurance salesman was drawn into the Maori Council in the 1980s.
Maori Council secretary Tata Parata says he was committed to giving Maori communities a voice.
Mr Parata told Waatea News that Mr Nicholls was a valued contributor in recent years and picked up much of the workload from long serving chair Sir Graham Latimer.
Mr Nicholls will be taken on Tuesday to Matai Whetu marae at Kopu near Thames.
His funeral service is at 11.30am on Thursday at St George's Anglican Church in Thames.
No reira e te rangatira takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai raa.