Legendary radio broadcaster Merv Smith has died.
Newstalk ZB reports Smith dominated breakfast airwaves at 1ZB from 1961 until Paul Holmes started the Newstalk format in 1987.
Former colleague Barry Holland said Smith was the first of the big personalities.
"My endearing memory of him was his humour and his timing. He was just so funny and so natural within himself, and so humble."
Holland said the new Newstalk format "just wasn't his sort of radio".
"He thought that's the time to go and went and started up a country music radio station that came out of Albany."
After he retired from radio he followed his passion of trains, and ran Merv Smith Hobbies in Newmarket.
He was in his mid-80s.