Mourners have been attending Parihaka pa marae, where the body of Te Kauhoe Wano is lying.
The 49-year-old was a member of Te Reo o Taranaki and is survived by his wife Pirihira and their three children.
Known as TK, he was crazy about surfing. He was also a broadcaster and his production company is behind the top-rating Maori Television programme Code.
Maori Party politician Te Ururoa Flavell remembers working with him in the 1990s helping to protect Te Reo o Taranaki.
Mr Flavell says they collaborated when the language was under some stress because there were few speakers.
He says Te Kauhoe Wano was part of a group drawn back to Taranaki to help keep the language alive.