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Updated at 7:56 pm on 25 June 2012
Labour MP Parekura Horomia says many people are mourning the death of the last remaining senior officer of the Maori Battalion.
Major Hone Hikitia Te Rangi Waititi, who was also known as John, died at the age of 91 at Tauranga Hospital at at 5m on Monday.
Major Waititi, of Te Whanau a Apanui, was a senior officer in the Maori Battalion during the Second World War.
Despite being wounded three times in fighting and given the option of returning home early, he chose to stay on.
Mr Horomia, a former Maori Affairs Minister, nominated Major Waititi to be named a Companion of the Queen's Service Order in 2009 for service to the community.
Major Waititi was a forceful leader known for his service to the country and Maori people, and made a real effort since the war to create jobs for local communities, says Mr Horomia.
Major Waititi's body will be taken to Kauaetangohia Marae at Cape Runaway on Tuesday for his tangi.
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