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Updated at 10:38 pm on 15 August 2011
Mourners have gathered in the Holy Sepulchre Church in Auckland to remember Sir Paul Reeves at a public tangi.
Sir Paul, a former Governor-General, had been suffering from cancer and died on Sunday, aged 78.
His body arrived by hearse before 2pm on Monday with a police escort and he was welcomed into the chapel with a waiata, or song, led by members of his Maori tribe Te Atiawa.
Several people gave speeches in the chapel in front of about 150 mourners.
Members of the public who came to pay their respect described Sir Paul as a gentle and generous person who bridged cultures.
A state funeral for Sir Paul will be held in Auckland on Thursday.
Prime Minister John Key says the cortege will travel through part of the Auckland Domain on the journey from Holy Sepulchre Church to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.
The hearse will be escorted by Defence Force personnel for the final segment, from the edge of the Domain to the Cathedral forecourt entrance.
Sir Paul was an Archbishop of New Zealand and made an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand in 2007.
Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand says Sir Paul came from humble beginnings to make his mark.
Bishop Philip Richardson says Sir Paul was a great leader both in Maoridom and the Church.
Labour Party leader Phil Goff worked with Sir Paul and says he performed outstanding public service to New Zealand.
Mr Goff described him as a decent man committed to his principles. He says Sir Paul was considered and measured in the way he spoke, but his message was always clear.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General says he is deeply saddened by the death and sends his thoughts and prayers to the people of New Zealand.
A spokesperson says Sir Paul worked with distinction in South Africa, Ghana and Fiji. He says Sir Paul was a true friend to the Commonwealth and served it with passion and dedication.
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