Land conservation group, the QEII Trust has paid tribute to former All Black great Sir Brian Lochore, calling him a taonga of private land conservation.
The 78 year-old, who died after a battle with bowel cancer, was a dedicated supporter of the QEII National Trust and served as chair for eight years.
The trust partners with private landowners to protect natural and cultural heritage sites on their land with covenants.
Chair James Guild said the death of Sir Brian was a great loss to New Zealand.
"Sir Brian Lochore has left many legacies during his lifetime of service, but one of the most enduring will be the nearly 2000 special parts of New Zealand he helped place under permanent protection during his eight years of chairing QEII National Trust," he said.
"Those living, growing taonga will be here forever - a permanent memorial to an outstanding New Zealander who used his mana to benefit his country in many ways."
Current QEII board member and former All Black captain Graham Mourie said Sir Brian had always been an inspirational figure.
"I have always admired the role he played in QEII and his commitment to the QEII community. Sir Brian's passing is a huge loss to New Zealand, rugby and the farming community," he said.
QEII Wairarapa regional representative Trevor Thompson also paid tribute to Sir Brian's dedication.
"On a QEII trip to a remote hill country farm, I remember him telling me how he never tired of seeing the back country of the Wairarapa.
"His genuine interest in people of the land and his easy communication style made him friends and earned him respect wherever he went."
"Sir Brian served his province and his nation incredibly well, but I will always remember him as a classic man of the land who I could say g'day to in the RSA.
"Sir Brian, you will be greatly missed by all who knew you"