The Far North is mourning the loss of one of its most respected and popular community leaders.
Millie Srhoj died in Kaitaia on Sunday, aged 88, after a long illness.
Mr Srhoj was a son of one of the original Dalmatian gum-diggers in the district and went on to become the first Mayor of the Far North.
He was instrumental in persuading Juken Nissho, now Kaitaia's biggest employer, to buy a failing boardmill in the town, in 1990.
Mr Srhoj also led a campaign to save Kaitaia Hospital in the 1990's.
He was a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party, but was admired for his ability to transcend party politics, in community affairs.
His funeral will be held in Kaitaia on Wednesday.