A service has been held to remember Anglican Church Bishop John Gray before his family accompany his body on a journey from Christchurch to Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne, for burial.
The first Maori bishop to be appointed to the South Island died peacefully on Friday, surrounded by his family, after a long illness.
A service was held to give thanks for his life at Te Hepara Pai in Christchurch this morning before his family began the journey to return the body to Tokomaru Bay, the Anglican Church says.
They are expected to arrive at Tokomaru Bay tomorrow afternoon.
His family issued a statement through the church today thanking those who had expressed their gratitude for his life and ministry and who had supported them at this time.
"We weep for our beloved husband, dad, grandad, and rock," the family said.
Bishop Gray was born in 1947, ordained as a deacon in 1982, as a priest in 1983, and as a bishop in 1996.
Earlier this year the archbishops of the church apologised for comments made by Bishop Gray, which they said offended Jews and Muslims.
Bishop Gray is survived by his wife Helen, his son Robert, daughters Raquel and Rawinia, grandchildren and extended family.