Hundreds of people made the journey to the tiny settlement of Motatau north of Whangarei today for the funeral service of the prominent Ngapuhi and Ngati Hine elder Erima Henare.
Mr Henare who was the chair of the Maori Language Commission, died suddenly last Thursday at the age of 62 after a long and distinguished career in the public service.
He was the son of the Maori Battalion Commander, Sir James Henare, and the Grandson of the 1920's Northern Maori MP Tau Henare.
Erima Henare also led the Ngapuhi sovereignty claim which was upheld last year by the Waitangi Tribunal.
Thousands attended his tangi at Otiria marae over the weekend, including parliamentarians, and delegations from tribes from all over Aotearoa.
Dignitaries at his funeral and burial at Motatau today included Cabinet Ministers Hekia Parata and Paula Bennet; the Chief Justice Sian Elias; judges of the Waitangi Tribunal and former ministers Sir Doug Graham and Sir Don McKinnon.
Tribal leaders from Samoa and Rarotonga also attended.
Hekia Parata, who delivered the eulogy said she first met Erima Henare when they both worked for Foreign Affairs, in America, and he had gone on to make an immense contribution to his people in the north, to the Maori language, and to New Zealand.
Mrs Parata described Mr Henare as a magnificent man, gone too soon, whose passing would be mourned, and whose life would be celebrated.
The Ngati Hine rangatira was buried this afternoon, next to his parents, Sir James and Lady Rose Henare.