Koro Tainui Wētere, a former Labour MP and Minister for Māori Affairs, has died aged 83.
Mr Wētere died due to prostate cancer surrounded by family at Te Kuiti Hospital on Saturday morning.
He turned 83 on Friday.
Mr Wētere served as the Māori affairs minister in the fourth labour Government from 1984 to 1990 under the Prime Ministers David Lange, Geoffrey Palmer and Mike Moore.
He was succeeded as Māori Affairs Minister by Winston Peters.
Mr Wētere left Parliament in 1996, and Waikato University awarded him an honorary doctorate for contributions to the wellbeing and the advancement of Māori affairs in 1999 and a lifetime award in 2008.
He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year Honours for services to Māori.