Jacinda Ardern among mourners as inspirational former deputy PM Jim Anderton farewelled in Christchurch funeral

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has joined mourners at the funeral of former deputy prime minister Jim Anderton, a man she has described as a "towering figure".

Mr Anderton was farewelled at a service in Christchurch this afternoon, after passing away from ill health last week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was among a host of politicians past and present who attended. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern this week praised Mr Anderton for devoting himself "to public service and to the ideals of the Labour movement".

"He was a towering figure in the Labour movement for several decades. He will be remembered as someone who stood up for his principles and for the people he represented," she said.

Mr Anderton died in Christchurch's Cashmere View Hospital on Saturday, aged 79.

Mr Anderton died peacefully overnight in Christchurch, aged 79. Source: 1 NEWS

Born in Auckland, he entered parliament as the Labour MP for the Christchurch electorate of Sydenham in 1984, before forming the New Labour party and then leading the Alliance.

He served as deputy prime minister under Helen Clark between 1999 and 2002 and was the member for Wigram from 1996 until his retirement in 2011.

Following his death, Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration and current Wigram MP Megan Woods said what she admired most about Mr Anderton was "his courage and that he always did the right thing".

"Jim is going to be hugely missed in New Zealand politics, he will very much be missed locally and particularly in Christchurch," Dr Woods said.

"Fundamentally, Jim fought for people and I think every political decision he put through the lens of how it would impact the people he represented and impact the people in his electorate."

Along with the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson also attended the funeral service, a Requiem Mass at Sacred heart Catholic Church in Addington.

The funeral of Anderton, a towering figure in New Zealand's political landscape, was held in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

After paying tribute to his father, one of Mr Anderton's sons, Chris Anderton, sang Tom Petty's song I Won't Back Down, and farewelled his father in Te Reo Maori.

As Mr Anderton's casket was carried out of the church at the conclusion of the service, Ms Ardern joined the procession of mourners, walking alongside former National prime minister Jim Bolger.

Also among those attending was Cabinet Minister Megan Woods and former Labour Party leaders David Cunliffe and Phill Goff, along with former National minister Gerry Brownlee.

The likes of former PM Jim Bolger and current politicians were present at Anderton, a long serving politician's funeral. Source: 1 NEWS

'I knew I had to hand it in to police' - Honest Taranaki boy returns wallet with more than $1000 in it to Aussie tourist

An honest New Plymouth boy has been rewarded for handing over a wallet he found stuffed with cash to authorities.

Sam McIntosh was walking to his friend's house not long after Christmas when he saw a wallet on the ground as he passed Woodleigh School.

"I just thought that's strange so I picked it up," the 12-year-old told Taranaki Daily News.

After checking it for the owner's identification, Sam found the wallet contained "heaps of money".

"There was two compartments, there was the one with 20s and below and the other one with 50s and 100s, there was no coins.

"I thought what am I supposed to do, like oh that's a lot of money," he told the News.

In total there was $1400 in the wallet, more money than any normal 12-year-old could hope to have in their possession.

The thought of pocketing the money for himself never crossed Sam's mind though.

"That would be cool to have that much but I wouldn't do that because I saw that there was a guy in there and I knew I had to hand it in to police because that's the law - my dad is a policeman."

Sam's father Senior Constable Bruce McIntosh processed the wallet back at the police station and to his surprise the owner of the wallet, who was on holiday from Australia, appeared at the counter to claim it.

"The look of surprise on his face, to find it was still full of money was just a cracker," Senior Constable McIntosh said.

The happy owner then gave Sam's father a $100 note to give to his son as thanks for the kind deed.

"That was the nicest thing ever to do, because giving a $100 to a guy that finds his wallet, shouldn't deserve a $100 at all," Sam humbly said.

The 12-year-old says he is still unsure what he will spend his reward on.

Sam McIntosh handed the wallet to police, and the Australian tourist who owned it gave him a rewards. Source: Fairfax


Watch: Jim Anderton's son sings Tom Petty's 'I won't back down' before farewelling father in Te Reo Maori

An emotional son of politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has sung at his funeral in Christchurch giving a rendition of Tom Petty’s I won't back down.

A large congregation of mourners has gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Addington to farewell Mr Anderton at a Requiem Mass this afternoon.

Among them is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and politicians from across the political spectrum.

Son Chris Anderton fought back tears as he spoke before singing, and he then farewelled his father in Te Reo Maori.

Mr Anderton became a Labour MP in 1984 but after falling out with leadership over economic policy, he established the new Labour Party.

Two new political parties followed Alliance and Progressive, and he retired from politics at the 2011 election.

Mr Anderton died in Christchurch last week aged 79.

The funeral of Anderton, a towering figure in New Zealand's political landscape, was held in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS