Police say a Northland iwi liaison officer who died on Sunday held the respect of everyone in the force, and he played a pivotal role in mentoring and developing police constables.
Paddy Whiu, 62, died at his home on Sunday morning surrounded by his whanau after a short illness.
He served the police for 41 years and was worked in Kaeo, Kaikohe, Whangarei and Wellington.
Superintendent Wally Haumaha said Sergeant Whiu was held in high esteem by everyone he dealt with.
He said Paddy Whiu was one of those few members of the New Zealand Police that despite his rank, earned the respect of colleagues from the junior ranks right through to the senior executives.
Superintendent Haumaha said Sergeant Whiu mentored and coached people in the police of all descriptions, and in particular, every District Commander that entered the north - nobody went past Paddy Whiu without first seeking his advice and counsel.