Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua was remembered as "an iconic person" by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who said she knew him from her time attending Waitangi.
Mr Taurua died aged 80 after a cancer battle, and Ms Ardern was asked about his impact on New Zealand society during a media address from Taranaki today.
"I know Kingi, as all politicians who have ever attended Waitangi would, he was a Ngapuhi elder who challenged the Crown when we needed to be challenged so I think we have seen a great loss," she said.
Earlier today, former MP Hone Harawira, said his death is a "great loss to the whole of Maoridom".
"A very special guy, a Vietnam vet, he was one of the first Maori of celebrity to take the full face moko, he was an amazing orator, he was a great speaker, particularly of the Ngapuhi reo," Mr Harawira told TVNZ1’s Breakfast today.
Mr Taurua would also leave a hole on Waatea Radio, according to Mr Harawira.
"I tell you he's going to leave a massive hole in Ngapuhi, he's going to leave a massive hole for Watea and their ability to protect the passionate kind of news," he said.
"I'm going to miss him and I think a lot of us are going to."