Members of Parekura Horomia's family looked on as politicians sung waiata and told stories about him in Parliament on Tuesday.
Parliamentary business was suspended while MPs paid tribute to the former Minister of Maori Affairs, who died more than a week ago.
Members of his Ngati Porou iwi and whanau watched from the public gallery as his empty seat was blessed and the tributes began.
Shane Jones sung a waiata and told Mr Horomia's family he will not be forgotten.
He said the late MP believed people might forget what he said and did, but not how he made them feel.
Mr Jones said Parekura Horomia introduced feeling to Parliament and was his closest friend in the political world.
A by-election in Mr Horomia's electorate of Ikaroa-Rawhiti is expected before the end of June.